Louis Lee: Kaiser Shipyards Photographer
When the war began, Louis S. Lee was a 29-year-old waiter working in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Dorothy. However, as it did for many people, the war brought new opportunities for Lee, and he became a staff photographer for the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company. In this position, Lee documented special events and everyday work at the shipyards. Lee was also president of the yards’ Three Year Club, an organization for workers who had worked for Kaiser for three years.
The shipyards operated around the clock and set new production records. By war’s end, the Vancouver shipyard had launched ten Liberty ships, 30 landing crafts, 50 escort aircraft carriers (baby flat tops), 31 attack transports, 12 C-4 troop ships, eight C-4 cargo vessels, and two 14,000-ton drydocks.
His photographs are both artistic and documentary and they provide a fascinating window into life and work at the shipyards.
Photographs by Louis Lee10 Photos
Louis Lee served as the staff photographer of the Kaiser Shipyards in Vancouver, Washington, during World War II. His photographs provide a unique and artistic glimpse into life and work at the shipyards. These images are now part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site museum collection.
Last updated: November 10, 2017