Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company
Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company was a major shipbuilding company in Chester, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles south of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. Its primary product was tankers, but the company built many types of ships over its 70-year history.
The company was developed by Sun Oil Company, and launched its first ship in 1917, just as the United States was entering World War I. By the 1920s it had become a large shipyard, building tankers for the Standard Oil Company. At the start of World War II, it was one of the country's five largest shipyards, with a total of eight shipways. This was increased to 28 as the war went on, making it the country's single largest shipyard. At its peak, Sun Ship operated four shipyards employing more than 40,000 workers. One of the yards was manned almost exclusively by Negoes.
Sun continued as a merchant shipbuilder after the war, but sold the South and #4 Yards for industrial development. The company was sold to Pennsylvania Shipbuilding in 1982, but closed in 1989. The Central Yard site has been sold or leased for multiple uses, while the North Yard is now an independent cargo terminal.