Stuff You Should Know
Serving for 27 years starting from November 1944 and ending in 1971, USS Bon Homme Richard met some of the final battles of the World War II. It was an Aircraft Carrier, Essex class, built in Brooklyn, New York and had the hull number CV-31. At first, it carried 2,600 people in its crew and 100 aircraft. It was decommissioned twice: the first time at the end of World War II, but was recommissioned again during the ‘50s as an Attack Carrier, while the second and last decommission was in July, 1971. It is possible that the crew was exposed to asbestos during their service on the Bon Homme Richard because it carried a lot of equipment that contained asbestos. This equipment included pumps, boilers, electrical components, turbines and almost the entire steam propulsion equipment. Of course, manufacturers avoided to mention the risk of being intoxicated with asbestos and never warned the vessel crew about the danger.