USS Gunason (DE-795) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Gunason (DE-795) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on August 9, 1943, and launched on October 16, the same year. It was commissioned on February 1, 1944, under Comdr. H. G. White’s command with the hull number DE-795 and served in the US Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on November 13, 1948. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Boston, Trinidad, Guantanamo Bay, Maine, Hampton Roads, Okinawa, Ulithi and Manila. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on September 1, 1973. Three months before this, USS Gunason was sunk as a target. From the 1930s to the 1970s, asbestos fibers were used in countless commercial and industrial products. Commonly, asbestos was placed in insulation for pipes, fireproofing, plasters and cement, and much more. Nearly everyone working in construction or manufacturing, on ships or in shipyards during this time period either handled asbestos or was exposed to it. Revered for its resistance to heat and fire, asbestos earned the name "miracle mineral".

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Shipmates on USS Gunason (DE-795)

Thomas Bachelder Brenner

Gordon Alton Dring

Robert H. Getz

Henry H. Grell

William Elijah Latimore Sr.

Walter H. Marschlowitz

Archie Reid Thompson