Todd Shipyards Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation became the Todd Shipyards Los Angeles in 1943, when the Todd Pacific Shipyards company took over the facility. Since Todd Shipyards Los Angeles got started during World War II, the primary aim of the company in its early years was to build and repair warships for the Navy. At its peak, the shipyard employed over 12,000 people and produced both destroyers and frigates for battle. After the war ended, the shipyard continued to do business with the United States Navy, maintaining several shipbuilding contracts as well as taking on new ones as the years passed. The famous Oliver Perry class of frigates that was designed in the 1970s, for instance, partly saw construction at Todd Shipyards Los Angeles. In addition to building new warships, the company worked as a regular maintenance station for those naval vessels in need of repair. During times of peace, the U. S. Navy was not the only warship contract Todd Shipyards was working on. In fact, the company also provided ships for the navies of several other countries as well. Some of the clients served by the shipyard included Brazil, Taiwan and Australia. Another peacetime endeavor that Todd Shipyards Los Angeles took up was finding ways to reuse old warships that were no longer necessary for battle. After World War II, there was still a need to maintain naval capabilities, but not to the same extent, considering both the technological advances in far-range weaponry, and the international treaties so many countries had agreed to. Therefore, some warships were unlikely to ever be used in war again, and it only made sense to find other ways to utilize them. This involved removing military components and rebuilding the ships or landing platforms so they could fulfill other purposes. The job of retrofitting ships with new equipment that would serve peacetime purposes of transport, research, or business, became one of the standard operations of the shipyard. In addition, the creation of a ship for a Disney theme park was also undertaken by Todd Shipyards Los Angeles. However, for the most part the yard continued to produce well-crafted military level ships for as long as it operated. Unfortunately, before the mid 1970s many shipyards used a natural mineral called asbestos in manufacturing for its fire-retardant qualities. At the time, it was not common knowledge that asbestos was a carcinogen. However, today we know when inhaled or swallowed, airborne asbestos fibers settle and build up in the lungs or abdomen, resulting in a cancer called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma symptoms remain dormant for 20 to 50 years after exposure to the toxins. Many employees of ship building companies like Todd Shipyards, may have been exposed to such carcinogens, greatly endangering their health and the health of those around them. Recent legal action resulting from this asbestos exposure highlights the shipyard’s history of using the material.