Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. at Port Newark, New Jersey looking east in 1945.
Beginning in October 1942, Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. laid keels for 52 Cannon- and John C. Butler-class destroyer escorts and then twelve Gearing-class destroyers at a facility it constructed for this purpose at Port Newark, New Jersey. Located on Newark Bay east of today’s Liberty International Airport, the new yard was north of Port Elizabeth and about two miles from Federal’s main shipyard at Kearny Point.

Port Newark from the air, 1945.

Port Newark looking north Port Newark looking east Port Newark looking south Port Newark looking west

All the destroyer escorts built there were commissioned during the war; all but three of them before 1945.

Seven of the twelve destroyers were launched and four were commissioned during the war. After the war, construction continued on six Gearings laid down but not yet commissioned. Five of these were completed in 1945–46 and the sixth, Epperson, in 1949. Hulls for the last two, Castle and Woodrow R. Thompson, laid down in the summer of 1945, were not launched.

The shipyard closed after the war. Today the site is vacant, but may be seen immediately south of today’s New Jersey Turnpike extension to the Holland Tunnel, where it approaches the Newark Bay bridge.