Louisiana Foundry Makes Historic Cast

Oct. 2, 2003
Amite Foundry and Machine looks ahead, and remembers

The USS New York is still mostly in the blueprint stage, but operators of a Louisiana foundry commemorated its history last month when they began the process of casting steel for the U.S. Navy's next LPD San Antonio-Class amphibious transport dock. The Amite Foundry and Machine Co. melted 24 tons of steel recovered from the site of the destroyed World Trade Center to pour a sand casting for the ship's bow stem. The foundry in Amite, LA, staged a ceremony September 9 to commemorate the casting and the sad events that precipitated it.

All 12 ships in the series are named for cities, but the USS New York assumes a greater degree of historical significance -- first because of the horror of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and its consequences, and then for the tribute implied by using recovered material from the attack site in the ship's construction. The USS New York is being built by Northrup Grumman Ship Systems.

Fred Lash, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command, which oversees naval ship construction, said of the casting at Amite Foundry, "This symbolizes and recognizes the great courage of the people of New York. … There’s quite a symbolic link in the name, and now we’re using the steel from the World Trade Center in the forward part of the hull that literally breaks the waves.

"The curvature of that part of the bow literally is the most forward extension of the ship," Lash continued, "and when it sails into missions in the future, it’ll be that steel up front that leads the way, and will have with it the hardness and dedication and spirit of the people of New York."

Wayne Peterson, a spokesman for Amite Foundry and Machine, said, "We feel there is a lot of emotion involved in this, and all of us feel grateful we’ve been chosen to do this work, and that’s why we’re having a ceremony to celebrate that. But, it’s a somber excitement."