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It began operations in 1901 as a drydock, and continued as a navy facility until 1996 when it ceased operations as the result of recommendations of the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. At that time it was leased to Detyens Shipyards, Inc.Originally designated as the Navy Yard and later as the Naval Base it had a large impact upon the local community, the tri-county area and the entire State of South Carolina.The yard first produced the destroyer, then began to increase production in the 1930s. A total of 21 destroyers were assembled at the naval facility.In 1931, Ellicott Dredges delivered the 20-inch cutter dredge Orion still in operation at the old Charleston Naval Shipyard."Two of the largest vessels ever built at the yard were two destroyer tenders, the and the. The keels of these ships were laid in November 1944 and July 1945, respectively. Peak employment of 25,948 was reached in July 1943.After the war, the shipyard was responsible for the repairs and alterations of captured German submarines. In April 1948, Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan told Charleston's Representative Rivers and Senator Burnet R. Maybank that the navy planned for CNSY to become a submarine overhaul yard and would ask for an initial appropriation for a battery-charging unit.

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Charleston Naval Shipyard was a U.S. Navy ship building and repair facility located along the west bank of the Cooper River, in North Charleston, South Carolina and part of Naval Base Charleston.

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