USS Holton (DE-703) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Holton was named after Lt. Ralph Lee Holton, who was awarded a Navy Cross for his outstanding rescue work of USS Lexington crew members during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Lt. Holton will be declared MIA during the Battle of Midway and the ship named in his honor will be launched on the 15th of December 1943 at Bay City, Michigan. The USS Holton began her career as convoy escort on the Norfolk – Bizerte route, where she was involved in an incident on October 14, 1944. A tanker and a Liberty cargo in the convoy she was guarded collided 400 miles off the coast of Africa, and much like her namesake, USS Hilton’s crew jumped into action, rescuing sailors from the gravely stricken and burning cargo ship. After a lot of effort, the Liberty and much of its cargo were salvaged as well. The rest of the Buckley –class destroyer’s short life was thankfully uneventful, but she might have posed a hidden danger to the people on board due to the large quantities of asbestos used in her construction. A lot of the mineral could be found as heat shielding over the boilers, various engine parts, hot as well as cool piping and wiring. Even servicing electronics could put operators in contact with the dangerous mineral.

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Shipmates on USS Holton (DE-703)

carlisle clark

ernest leroy hughes

harry a. mclaughlin

alden werley