No place is more critical to U.S. Naval Shipbuilding then the shipbuilding docks at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia. Since this picture was taken in 1977, the company was purchased in 2011 and merged to become Huntington Ingalls Industries. The list of ships built here is impressive though. The entire “Great White Fleet“, 186 Liberty Ships for WWII, 9 of the Essex-Class Aircraft Carriers, the first Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier and Nuclear Powered Submarine, all of the Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers, and most (if not all) of the United States’ Nuclear Powered submarines have been built here.
There are two ships in this picture. The one in “front” and to the right is the USS Boulder. It was commissioned in 1971 and built at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Corp in San Diego California. At the time of this picture it was likely here for maintenance and upgrades. This ship was the twelfth of twenty ships in the Newport Tank Landing Class. The huge arms on the front supported a bow ramp that allowed tanks and other vehicles to drive off the ship directly onto land. It was in service until 1998, and finally stricken from the Naval Register in 2008.
Based on the date of this picture, and public records on the Internet, the second ship appears to be the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), the second of the Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers. This picture would have been taken three months before it was commissioned in October 1977. She is still in service, most recently having been in the Middle East, but is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2025.
And then we have another Aircraft carrier, the USS America (CVN-66). She was commissioned in 1965 and was still relatively new at the time of this picture.
I don’t know a lot about any of these ships, I’d love to hear anything you know about them in the comments below! Thank you!