Here in August 1917, after the United States entered World War I, U.S. Steel established Chickasaw Shipbuilding. The yard closed after World War I but was reopened in 1940 by Waterman Steamship Corp. as Gulf Shipbuilding. It was one of eleven builders the Navy chose to produce 2,100-ton Fletcher-class destroyers, and received $5 million for this purpose.
Gulf laid down four high-bridge ships in 1941 and three low-bridge ships the following year, delivering all seven in 1943–44. Delivery photos of these ships were taken in Mobile Bay, which they entered from the north via the Mobile River.
In 1942, the company opened a second yard at Madisonville on the north shore of Louisiana’s Lake Ponchartrain, which built minelayers. Neither yard remains active.