USS Buckingham (APA-141) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

As a Haskell-class attack transport ship, the USS Buckingham was built in 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Corporation and subsequently towed to Vancouver, Washington for completion by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Corporation. It was sponsored by Mrs. S. J. Dickey and served during World War II with Captain Henry G. Moran in command. The ship was transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1945. It conducted shakedown training off San Pedro, California and amphibious warfare training in San Diego, California. The ship also made numerous practice landings on beaches at Coronado, San Clemente and Oceanside, California. Asbestos was heavily employed by the U.S. Navy at the time the USS Buckingham was laid down, so the toxic mineral was present aboard it in tremendous amounts, which unknowingly endangered the health of all military personnel who was serving on it. Following inhalation or ingestion, asbestos fibers attach themselves to the tissue of various organs in the body, such as the lungs, where they gradually cause inflammation and scarring. Over the decades, these symptoms may give way to a serious disease, like mesothelioma or lung cancer. In 1974, the ship was sold for scrap to the Consolidated Steel Corporation in Brownsville, Texas.

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Shipmates on USS Buckingham (APA-141)