Henry J. Kaiser Shipyard Memorial

During World War II, the Henry J. Kaiser Shipyards in Vancouver and Portland turned out 140 Liberty ships, T-2 Tankers, and escort carriers (“baby flat-tops”) for the war effort. The city of Vanport, north of Portland, was built to house the 38,000 workers who migrated to the region from throughout the country to build the ships. The workforce included a large number of African Americans who were recruited in the South and brought to Oregon and Washington by the trainload. The descendants of these workers who stayed after the war formed the core of the area’s African-American population, which added to the region’s cultural diversity. The shipyards closed shortly after the end of the war and Vanport was destroyed in a postwar flood. Now, only faint traces of the shipyard’s wooden ways remain along the river. The three-story Henry J. Kaiser Shipyard Memorial and Interpretive Center recognizes and honors the contributions of these workers not only to the Allied victory in World War II, but also for their continuing contributions to the region’s culture and economy. Admission is free.


Southeast Marine Park Way and Columbia Way
Vancouver, WA 98661
United States