USS Hawkins (DD-873) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Hawkins (DD-873)

The USS Hawkins (DD-873) was a Gearing-class destroyer in service of the U.S. Navy during World War II. The destroyer was launched in 1944 and commissioned in 1945. After shakedown training in the Caribbean, the USS Hawkins arrived at Norfolk to undergo conversion to a radar picket ship. She then escorted ships until 1946. Reassigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, the vessel participated in Reserve training cruises and readiness exercises in the Caribbean. The USS Hawkins had been reclassified DDR-873 in 1949 and, over the years, took part in the Korean War, the Suez Crisis, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the Vietnam War, she was assigned to Destroyer Squadron 24. In 1971, the destroyer participated as a backup recovery ship in the Atlantic in the space program for Apollo 14. After serving as a Naval Reserve training ship in Philadelphia, she was stricken from the Navy List in 1979 and sold to Taiwan in 1983. Due to the massive presence of asbestos on Navy ships, veterans are at a high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. Although the Navy stooped using asbestos in the 1970s, the ships built with it remained in service for many years. Veterans affected by asbestos exposure should have their lungs checked periodically.

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Shipmates on USS Hawkins (DD-873)