A decidedly unglamorous black-hulled cargo barge plying the turbid waters off Staten Island represents the last working evidence of two centuries of New York history. McAllister Towing & Transportation Co.’s Atlantic Trader, a 300-foot container-carrying barge which entered service in 1977 appears to be the last vessel built from the ground up at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The plodding, anonymous Atlantic Trader had many famous Navy Yard forebears, including the USS Arizona, destroyed at Pearl Harbor where the Second World War began for the United States on Dec. 7, 1941, and the USS Missouri, where the war ended 45 months later with the formal Japanese surrender on her polished teak deck in Tokyo Bay. Other warships built in Brooklyn included the USS Maine, whose 1898 destruction in Havana Harbor helped launch the Spanish-American War; the USS Ohio, a 74-gun ship-of-the-line launched in 1820 that saw action in the Mexican-American War; and eight battleships and eight aircraft carriers completed between 1911 and 1961. Ships built at the yard saw service in every major American conflict from the War of 1812 to Operation Iraqi Freedom. [Read more…] about Decades After Closure, Brooklyn Navy Yard Sails On