As one of the United States’ five largest shipbuilders before World War II, Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. was one of several facilities given government funds to expand. Construction before and during the war, both at Newport News and an additional yard built in North Carolina, ranged from small craft and liberty ships to battleships and aircraft carriers, although it included only two destroyers, Sims-class Mustin and Russell.
At its wartime peak in 1943, NNS employed more than 31,000 people. After the war, it continued as both a naval and merchant shipbuilder and repairer. Today, owned by Northrop Grumman, it remains the nation’s largest private shipbuilder.