Dodge Boat & Plane, Newport News VA

Most recent update: November 14, 2014.


This shipyard started life in 1922, in a corner of the Dodge automobile plant in Detroit, the brainchild of Horace E. Dodge.  Two years later, he created the Horace E. Dodge Boat Works in Detroit, and was soon building several hundred boats a year, with Defoe Boat Works as a subcontractor.  In 1929, he renamed it the Horace E. Dodge Boat & Plane Company and moved it to a 100-acre site in Newport News VA, which apparently cost over $2 million to develop, and employed 700 workers, producing 40 boats a day.  In WWII, they built 27 rescue boats, 25 mooring tugs, 74 landing craft and possibly something else, since there's a gap in the schedule between the mooring tugs and the landing craft.

The company built some of the most beautiful launches and runabouts, which are now collector's items.  There is a great web site at www.dodgeboats.org.  Make sure you check all the old advertisements reproduced here: one of them actually shows a sketch of the layout of the yard.  It was located at the southern tip of Newport News, at the foot of Marshall Avenue: see the site - later the Chase Packaging plant - from the air on Google here

The table below just summarizes their wartime production: if anyone can add to it, please send your info to me at timcolton@aol.com.

Hull # Pennant # Customer Type LDT Ft. Delivery Disposition
P 42-68 US Army Rescue Boat   42 11/41-5/42 27 boats
MT 31-55 US Army Mooring Tug   26 4/42-6/42 25 boats
Q 1171 US Navy HDML 54 72 11-Dec-42 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1172 US Navy HDML 54 72 16-Dec-42 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1173 US Navy HDML 54 72 7-Jan-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1174 US Navy HDML 54 72 16-Jan-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1175 US Navy HDML 54 72 12-Feb-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1176 US Navy HDML 54 72 12-Feb-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1177 US Navy HDML 54 72 12-Feb-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1178 US Navy HDML 54 72 12-Feb-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1179 US Navy HDML 54 72 4-Mar-43 To RN, destroyed by hurricane in Jamaica 21-Aug-44
Q 1180 US Navy HDML 54 72 4-Mar-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1181 US Navy HDML 54 72 23-Mar-43 To RN, returned 1947
Q 1182 US Navy HDML 54 72 23-Mar-43 To RN, returned 1947
LCVP 25142-215 US Navy Landing Craft   36 3/43-11/43 74 boats