USS Diamond Head (AE-19) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Diamond Head was a 459-foot long ammunition ship launched on February 3, 1945, and commissioned on August 9, 1945, under Lt. Comdr. F. C. Snow's command. One month later, the ship started its duty in Norfolk. The ship played a very important role in testing suitable exterior markings for hospital ships. On August 23, 1946, the Diamond Head was decommissioned and placed into reserve. Five years later, on August 9, 1951, the same day as the first commissioning, the ship was put in commission for the second time in order to take part in the Korean War. It served in the US Navy for another 22 years before being struck from the Naval Register on March 1, 1973. Asbestos was first used in Navy vessels in 1938; a year later, the Navy’s own Surgeon General issued a warning about the substance’s dangers and the possibility of developing asbestosis - a non-malignant progressive, irreversible, lung disease. However, asbestos production and use by the Navy continued to grow. Navy personnel and other workers who actually built the ships were often at high risk of exposure. Jobs that were at especially high risk included shipfitters, pipefitters, mechanics, electricians, insulation workers, welders, plumbers, boiler tenders, hull maintenance workers, and engine operators.

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Shipmates on USS Diamond Head (AE-19)

Roy Arthur Hoenig

James Wesley Harris

Eugene K. Halpin

Hugh James Gorman

Frank MccCean Gentsch Jr.

John J. Gallagher Jr.

Chester Wayne Foshee

Thelbertm. Farmer

Ambrose M. Farmer

Vincent J. Ermovick

Thomas Edward Eaton Jr.

David Rigby Carlisle

Elmer G. Byers Jr.

Ronald Brown

Glen A. Braden

Larry Jude Blanchard

Donnie Mack Binkley

Raymond J. Banach