Fore River Shipyard

Did you work at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Mass.?

History of Fore River Shipyard

Perched at the mouth of the Fore River in Quincy, Massachusetts, the Fore River Shipyard played a major role in the building of the United States Navy and Maritime fleet from the turn of the century to the 1980s.  Also known as the Quincy Shipyard, the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard and the General Dynamics Shipyard, Fore River had three different owners during its 80 active years.

At Fore River Shipyard’s peak during WWII, it was owned by the Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding Corp. and employed 50,000 people.  Fore River Shipyard produced many Navy ships that helped control the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, including the battleship U.S.S. Massachusetts and the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Wasp.  After the war the shipyard produced maritime vessels, including the ocean liners S.S. Independence and the S.S. Constitution while it continued to build Navy destroyers and other ships.  In the late 1950s the Navy’s first nuclear powered surface ships, the frigates U.S.S. Long Beach and U.S.S. Bainbridge were built there.

In 1964 the Quincy Shipbuilding Division of the General Dynamics Corporation acquired the Fore River Shipyard.  General Dynamics built several nuclear submarines as well as more Naval vessels and maritime ships.  In the mid-1960s three cargo ships were cut in half and reassembled with sophisticated radar equipment to act as tracking ships for the first Apollo moon flights.  In the 1970s General Dynamics erected the giant 1,200-ton crane, “Goliath,” specifically to place the huge aluminum spheres in the LNG tankers being built there.  By 1982, however; the Fore River Shipyard had launched its last ship.

Asbestos Products used at Fore River Shipyard

Unfortunately, through much of its existence, the employees of the Fore River Shipyard were exposed to large quantities of asbestos.  Most of the ships and submarines built at the shipyard were powered by steam.  The boilers, nuclear reactors, turbines and miles of pipes on the vessels were insulated with asbestos and asbestos containing materials.  Asbestos products were also used throughout the ships in other forms, including gaskets, cements, electrical equipment and fireproof bulkheads, or walls.

Trades Exposed to Asbestos

During construction and maintenance of ships, insulators, electricians, plumbers, welders and pipefitters may have been exposed to these asbestos-containing materials.  Even those trades that did not work directly with asbestos may have been at risk.  Those who also worked near or in the vicinity of those who repaired and maintained asbestos-containing materials could have suffered exposure to asbestos.

What Can You Do?

Having represented thousands of workers from the Fore River shipyard for over four decades, attorneys at Thornton Law Firm LLP have gathered a vast amount of information concerning the type and variety of asbestos containing products to which our clients were exposed.  If you or a loved one once worked at the Fore River Shipyard and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us for a free case evaluation. Call 888-632-0108 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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