|Just prior to the United States' entry into
World War II, the Maritime Commission awarded shipbuilding contracts to
Savannah Shipyards, Inc., this company having made good progress in
building its own three-shipway yard without Commission aid.
Subsequently, Savannah Shipyards, Inc. failed to perform
adequately fulfill the contracts. Thus, in 1942, the Commission
contracted with a construction company to complete building the yard, and
with Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation (SSC) to manage the yard.
The management contract obligated SSC to manufacture
various shipping vessels, as well as to engage in real estate ventures as
needed to supply housing for the yard's employees.
Housing-wise, SSC saw to the establishment of the nearby
Pine Gardens, a neighborhood of modest, free-standing homes, for its
To provide additional housing for SSC, the Housing Authority of
Savannah erected three nearby apartment complexes: Moses Rogers
Josiah Tattnall Homes, and Deptford Place, none of which exists today
In the case of Pine Gardens, the only one of these
neighborhoods consisting of free-standing, privately-owned homes,
SSC bought the property, saw to the establishment of a private corporation
called Pine Gardens, Inc., and sold the land to PGI, who proceeded to
build the homes. The first PG homes were built in 1942. To
learn more about the Pine Gardens neighborhood, click the link at the
bottom of this page.
The apartment homes - provided by the Housing
Authority of Savannah, in Moses Rogers Grove and josiah
Tattnall were ready for occupancy in January 1943. The homes in Deptford Place
came into being in September of 1943.
Pine Gardens is the only remaining neighborhood created
as housing for SSC workers.
Two other firms in Savannah produced
ships for the US military during World War II. These were: Savannah
Machine & Foundry Co., and McEvoy Shipbuilding Corp. Two
additional "war housing" neighborhoods were erected for workers
at those shipyards, Cherokee Homes (completed in February 1943) and
Augustine Park (completed in April 1943). Neither of these
latter neighborhoods exist today.
As confirmed in the preceding several paragraphs,
Pine Gardens remains the surviving neighborhood created to house
workers at the three war-time Savannah shipbuilding companies. This
fact supports the nomination of Pine Gardens to be listed on the National
Register of Historic Districts.
During the time that SSC operated the yard, from early
1942 until late 1945, 106 vessels, including 88 Liberty Ships, were
manufactured and launched. The first Liberty Ship was the SS James Oglethorpe on
November 20, 1942; the last was the Half Knot, on September 14,
During its time in Savannah, SSC employed 46,766
workers. The maximum staff at any single time was