Stuff You Should Know
Another ship doomed to sicken its own crew was the USS Franklin, named after Benjamin Franklin. It was commissioned in 1944, serving the US Navy for 3 years, when it was decommissioned in 1947. This Essex-class aircraft carrier with hull number CV-13 was built in Newport News, Virginia and carried almost 100 aircraft and a complement of 2,600 men. The battles during the World War II in the Pacific Ocean brought it four battle stars. Because the ship was built between 1930 and 1970, many of its components were poisoned with asbestos. Veterans who completed their service on this ship were contaminated because of the poor ventilation in the engine and boilers rooms. Here, the components that contained asbestos released the poison in the air and so, the crew inhaled it into their lungs. The disease caused by this substance is named mesothelioma and is lethal if it is not discovered on time. Because the companies who provided these elements knew about this risk but remained silent, veterans are allowed and have the right to sue them.