USS Harmon (DE-678) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Harmon (DE-678)

The USS Harmon (DE-678) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort launched on July 9, 1943. It was commissioned on August 31, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. Kendall E. Read’s command with the hull number DE-678 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years and a half until it was decommissioned on March 27, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, Norfolk, Panama Canal, Nouméa, Manus, Iwo Jima, and Florida. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on August 1, 1965. One year and a half later, it was sold for scrapping to North American Smelting Co. in Delaware. For the services brought to the country during World War II, USS Harmon received 3 battle stars. For many years, shipyard workers and veterans of the United States Navy were exposed to toxic substances like asbestos, sometimes on a daily basis. Inhalation of asbestos fibers is known to lead to severe health problems including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. The Navy used many fire-resistant and durable asbestos products that included insulation in the following areas of a Navy ship: piping, boilers, paneling, adhesives, valves, pumps, motors, gaskets, and flooring.

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Shipmates on USS Harmon (DE-678)