The USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) was an Allen M. Summer-class destroyer built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Kearny, New Jersey. The ship was named after the US Navy Admiral Charles Stillman Sperry, the commanding officer from Yorktown, and was sponsored by Miss M. Sperry.
The USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) received four battle stars for service in World War II and the Korean War. The ship carried a complement of 276 servicemen on board and had major campaigns in Iwo Jima, Ulithi, and Okinawa.
Technical Features of the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697)
Class and type: Allen M. Summer-class destroyer
Launch date: 13 March 1944
Commissioning date: 17 May 1944
Decommissioning date: 15 December 1973
Displacement: 2,200 tons (standard), 3,320 tons (full load)
Length: 376 ft 6 inches
Draft: 15 ft 8 inches
Beam: 40 ft
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h)
Complement: 20 officers and 325 enlisted, 276 after refit
Propulsion: 4 Boilers, 2 General Electric Turbines (60,000 horsepower)
Armament: Six 5"/38 caliber guns, two 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts, two 40mm quadruple anti-aircraft mounts, two 21" quintuple torpedo tubes
History of the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697)
The USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) was laid down on October 19, 1943, by the Federal Shipbuilding, Kearny, NJ. After its launch on March 13, 1944, the ship was commissioned under the command of H.H. Mcllhenny on May 17, 1944, to report to the Pacific Fleet. By December of 1944, the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) began accompanying Task Force 38, one of the premier fast carrier forces in the Pacific. During World War II service, the ship sailed its way protecting the carrier forces from the kamikaze attack while sailing off the enemy's coasts. After the war, the ship remained in Japanese waters supporting the occupation forces and repatriating war prisoners. Finally, the ship sailed toward the East Coast in December 1945.
The USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) served as a training vessel for the next several years at Naval Reserve Units both in the Gulf and on the East Coast. On October 14, 1950, the ship sailed off to the Korean coast and was in action for eight months continuously. By the late 1950s, the USS Charles S. Sperry was selected for a Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program in which the weapon systems were modernized, the hull and machinery were rehabilitated, and the electronics and communications suites were upgraded.
In the mid-1960s, the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) entered the Vietnam War and served as a harbor defense ship for Da Nang. The deployment continued till February 22, 1966. Finally, in March 1973, it was concluded by a Navy survey team that the USS Charles S. Sperry was no longer useful for anti-submarine purposes and was struck off from the Naval Vessel Register on October 31, 1973. The ship served the US Navy for 29 years and was decommissioned on December 15, 1973. The ship was then sold to the Chilean Navy on January 8, 1974, where it was renamed Ministro Zenteno to serve for the next 16 years and finally got scrapped in 1990.
Asbestos Risks on the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697)
The destroyer ships built before the 1980s used asbestos extensively in most of the equipment in the engine and boiler rooms, as well as other areas of the ship. Thus, the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) contained a lot of asbestos-containing products and asbestos insulation. The veterans who served aboard the USS Charles S. Sperry, especially those who were involved in the maintenance, operations, and repair of asbestos-containing parts, are thus likely to have been exposed to asbestos. Occupational asbestos exposure poses a high risk of developing mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.
Veterans who did not work directly with asbestos materials were also at risk of asbestos exposure in sleeping quarters, mess halls, and other confined spaces below the deck with poor ventilation. Apart from veterans, the people who assisted in the construction, repair, and demolition of the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD 697) are at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos on the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697)?
We help veterans know their asbestos exposure risks if they have served on the USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) and get in touch with their former shipmates. If you're a former Navy service member diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer, you are eligible for compensation and may file claims with asbestos trust funds and the VA. We can help by putting you in touch with experienced lawyers who can streamline the process for you.