USS Formoe (DE-509) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Formoe (DE-509) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on January 3, 1944, and launched on April 2, the same year. It was commissioned on October 5, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. J. C. Spencer’s command as DE-509 and served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years until it was decommissioned on February 7, 1957. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Manus, San Diego, Lingayen, Morotai, Panay, Tarakan, Leyte, Ulithi, Hollandia, Okinawa, and Newport. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on October 1, 1968, and sold to Portugal where it was renamed NRP Diogo-Cao F-333. Service members who served in the U.S. Navy, spent countless hours aboard vessels and were exposed to asbestos during this time. Ships that were constructed or repaired up until the late 1970s were filled with asbestos-containing materials both above and below deck. Even though asbestos was no longer used in the construction of ships after that time, many vessels that were built using asbestos products remained operational for many years. Once the fibers are breathed into the lungs or swallowed, they can accumulate in the lining surrounding the lungs, stomach, heart, or other tissues.

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Shipmates on USS Formoe (DE-509)

Lester George Beauchaine

Thomas Orvil Dando

Lynn Anderson Davenport

John Benard Fitzpatrick Jr.

William James McGuinness

John W. O'Neill

Joseph W. Testa

Chester F. Wesolowski

William Alton Williams