Founded in 1889 as the merger of Burlee Drydock company and Port Richmond Iron Works, it was renamed Staten Island Ship-building in 1907 and moved from Port Richmond to its World War II location in 1925. As United Shipyards Inc., it launched the first two Mahan-class ships, Mahan and Cummings in 1935 and both Dunlaps (modified Mahans), Dunlap and Fanning, in 1936. No further destroyer construction commenced until December 1940 when, as Bethlehem Steel, the yard began continuous production of an eventual 44 more ships, 39 of which were completed during the war. Concurrently, the yard also produced landing craft, cargo vessels and three ocean-going tugs.
Fastest from keel laying to launching was destroyer-minelayer Shea at 144 days. Three destroyers shared the yard’s record for keel laying to commissioning: 261 days.