USS Gemsbok (IX-117) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Gemsbok (IX-117) was a tanker ship belonging to the Armadillo-class that was used by the US Navy during World War II. It was the second ship used by the US Navy that was named after the large species of a straight-horned African antelope. It was built at the California Shipbuilding Corporation’s shipyards under the name of Carl R. Grey and launched in November 1943. It was acquired by the US Navy soon after the launch and immediately commissioned with Commander A.H. Kooistra in command. Throughout the year 1944, the ship was responsible for delivering fuel and oil to the Marshall Islands and the Mariana Islands, operating mainly out of a port in Eniwetok. Once it completed its duties in the region, the ship sailed for the Philippines with fuel oil and then headed towards Okinawa where it continued its fueling duties until the end of the war. Friable asbestos materials are generally easy to break or crumble by hand, instantly releasing asbestos fibers into the surrounding air. Examples include acoustic plaster, spray-applied insulation, duct connectors, insulation, pipe coverings, plumber’s putty, and patching compounds. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they may remain deep within the lungs. They lodge in lung tissue and cause inflammation, scarring and DNA damage.

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