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Todd Shipyards Oakland

Todd Shipyards of Oakland CA operated under the San Francisco division of the mammoth Todd Shipbuilding Co. Todd Shipyards of Oakland was adjoined to the Oakland inner harbor between the Navy Supply Center and Main St. The shipyard, like many of the era, was essentially an emergency yard for naval vessel construction and its operation at the Oakland site was brief. However, the shipyard did make important contributions to U.S. Maritime commissionís lofty summons of dozens of wartime destroyers.

As the primary yard early in the Todd San Francisco division, the Todd Shipyard at Oakland was primarily responsible for ship construction and eventually would evolve into a repair facility before being phased out in favor of the Alameda location. Established in the early 1900ís, the shipyard served as a primary refreshment station for large tankers before getting involved in the war effort in 1917. Following WWI, the Oakland shipyard used less in a construction capacity and more as a repair and refuel station before all operations shifted to the growing Alameda operation, which had usurped the Oakland facility as the flagship Todd shipyard in the San Francisco division.

While the life of the Todd Shipyard at Oakland was brief, it was nevertheless an important shipyard in the Pacific construction industry during its brief tenure atop the San Francisco Division. Troops were able to reach European shores because of the hard work the men and women of the Oakland operation offered. It is a shame that these hard working men and women may also have been exposed to harmful toxins while employed at the shipyards. Many shipyards, including the Oakland operation used asbestos extensively in the construction of vessels, mainly in an insulation capacity.

Asbestos was encountered in nearly all facets of vessel repair and constructin. Shipyards that functioned as repair stations frequently saw their employees engage with dangerous asbestos fibers as the grinded or pried away at older fixtures, many of which contained high amounts of the fibers. It was used extensively in plumbing, electrical, and other insulation fixtures. If you have been employed in a shipyard and worked with these materials it is possible you may have been exposed to harmful asbestos fibers, which can cause life-threatening illnesses, including cancer. For those employees who worked with these materials, it is important you consult a physician if any adverse side-effects should manifest, particularly those associated with the respiratory system such as cough or chest pain.

Last modified: December 28, 2010.