Norfolk Navy Yard was located at “Gosport,” Portsmouth, Virginia, on the west bank of the Elizabeth River. It was established in 1767 and thus predated the birth of the US Navy.

Ships constructed here ranged from frigate Chesapeake to battleships and aircraft carriers during World War II. Conversions included frigate Merrimack (recommissioned as Confederate ironclad Virginia, opponent of USS Monitor in 1862) and collier Jupiter (converted as Langley, the Navy’s first aircraft carrier).

The yard built 15 destroyers: flush deckers Craven, Hulbert, Noa and William B. Preston completed in 1918–21; two Mahans, three Bagleys and two Sims-class ships in the thirties; and two Gleaves-class destroyers completed early in World War II as the yard approached peak employment of more than 40,000 workers.

Today, as part of world’s largest naval base, successor Norfolk Naval Shipyard continues to build, convert and maintain ships while providing logistic support and hosting research, development and test activities.