USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Betelgeuse started her life as a Victory-class ship on the 10th of April 1944. Operated under the US Merchant Marine charter, she took part in the Pacific campaign as an ammunition supply ship. On the 1st of March 1945, her crew was attacked and one man got hit when a Japanese shore battery opened fire as the ship headed for the island with a supply of ammunition. The USS Betelgeuse also took part in the Battle of Okinawa, earning two battle stars for her service during WWII. In 1952, she was commissioned by the US Navy as a cargo ship, acting mainly in the Atlantic. Then, the vessel was modified in order to transport Polaris missiles in 1960. In 1971, she was towed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and stricken from the Naval Register in 1974.
Asbestos was present throughout the USS Betelgeuse. Virtually, every member of her crew could have been exposed to the dangerous mineral, but engine and boiler room mechanics, pipefitters, radiomen, and plumbers were more at risk as they were in contact with larger amounts of asbestos. This toxic material was present in all the Navy ships as it was a great insulator. However, its fine particles could easily be inhaled if the material was disturbed, thereby producing irreversible lung damage. 

Everyone who served on the USS Betelgeuse (AK-260) inhaled the asbestos fibers and is at risk for developing lung disease

  • Engine Rooms
  • Damage Control Room
  • Pump Room
  • Propulsion Room
  • Plotting Rooms
  • Powder and Shot Magazine
  • Ward Room
  • Deck
  • Trasmitter Room
  • Junior Officers Quarters
  • Sick Bay
  • Reefer
  • Pilot House
  • Admiral's Cabin
  • Galley
  • Mess Deck

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Shipmates on USS Betelgeuse (AK-260)

JOHN W. ACKERMAN

82 years old

Alive

PHILIP MCCUTCHEON ARMSTRONG JR.

91 years old

Alive

FREDERICK C. CHASE

unknown age

Dead

ROBERT J. FLYNN

unknown age

Dead

RICHARD F. FULLER

unknown age

Dead

AARON J. GOOLEY

unknown age

Dead

TIMOTHY J. GORMAN

unknown age

Dead

ALFRED J. GREBASH

unknown age

Dead

JERNIGAN HARRIS

94 years old

Dead

ROY M. HOFFMAN

unknown age

Dead

GEORGE R. JOHNSON

92 years old

Alive

BERNARD W. JOHNSTON

86 years old

Alive

CECIL O. KIDD SR.

unknown age

Dead

CHARLES A. ROTH

unknown age

Uncertain N/A

ARTHUR L. MILLER

84 years old

Alive

RONALD A. MUISE

unknown age

Dead

NICHOLAS PODUSHAK

unknown age

Dead

FRED POWERS

unknown age

Dead

JOHN P. ROYSTON

84 years old

Alive

WILLIAM R. SIMONSON

unknown age

Uncertain N/A

WALTER D. TUCKER

unknown age

Dead

WILBUR L. VAUGHAN

unknown age

Dead