Commercial Iron Works
Commercial Iron Works was a manufacturing firm in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Established in 1916, the company is best remembered today for its contribution to America's emergency shipbuilding program during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


The company was founded in November 1916, by William T. Casey, Otto J. Hoak and Robert Boogs, on a 30 acres (121,405.8 m²) site on the Willamette River
Willamette River
The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States...

 just south of the Ross Island Bridge
Ross Island Bridge
The Ross Island Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It carries U.S. Route 26 across the river between southwest and southeast Portland...

. Little is known about the company's early years, but it appears to have served diverse markets. For example, it placed a bid for the manufacture of 200 fire hydrants for the City of Portland in 1927, and supplied the high pressure outlet gates for the Unity Dam on the Burnt River
Burnt River (Oregon)
The Burnt River is a tributary of the Snake River in eastern Oregon, United States. It enters the Snake near Huntington, Oregon, at a point upstream of the Powder River and downstream of the Malheur River, slightly more than from the Snake's confluence with the Columbia River...

 near Baker, Oregon in 1937. The company is recorded as having built only one ship prior to World War II - a small 140-ton tender for the US Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 in 1935.

Commercial Iron Works established a shipyard on the Ross Island site in the early 1940s, which turned out close to 200 small warships during the war, including net layer
Net laying ship
A net laying ship, also known as a net layer, net tender or boom defence vessel was a type of small auxiliary ship.A net layer's primary function was to lay and maintain steel anti-torpedo or anti-submarine nets. Nets could be laid around an individual ship at anchor, or around harbors or other...

s, minelayer
Minelaying is the act of deploying explosive mines. Historically this has been carried out by ships, submarines and aircraft. Additionally, since World War I the term minelayer refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines...

s, submarine chaser
Submarine chaser
A submarine chaser is a small and fast naval vessel specially intended for anti-submarine warfare. Although similar vessels were designed and used by many nations, this designation was most famously used by ships built by the United States of America...

s, and LCI
Landing Craft Infantry
The Landing craft, Infantry or LCI were several classes of sea-going amphibious assault ships of the Second World War utilized to land large numbers of infantry directly onto beaches. They were developed in response to a British request for a vessel capable of carrying and landing substantially...

 and LCS landing craft
Landing craft
Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

. It also outfitted larger ships built at other yards with armaments.

Following the war, the shipyard was acquired in 1946 by another local firm, the Zidell Machinery and Supply Company, which was eventually to transform the yard into America's largest shipbreaking operation.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.