USS Hutchins (DD-476) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Hutchins (DD-476)

The USS Hutchins (DD-476), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was launched by Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, on 20 February 1942; sponsored by Mrs. C.B. Hutchins, widow of Lt. Hutchins; and commissioned on 17 November 1942, with Lieutenant Commander B.W. Herron in command. Built by Boston Navy Yard, the destroyer entered service in 1942 and was assigned to the Pacific fleet in March 1943. It took part in campaigns in the Aleutian Islands, amphibious landings at Cape Gloucester, the Wakde-Sarmi operation, and Iwo Jima. On 25 April 1945, the USS Hutchins (DD-476) was attacked by a suicide boat and severely damaged. Still, under repair at the end of the war, the ship was decommissioned in 1945 and sold for scrap in 1948. During WWII, the United States shipbuilding industry used asbestos at an unprecedented pace. Shipbuilders utilized countless tons of the material as insulation, and structural steel fireproofing material. Early signs such as a persistent cough, recurrent pneumonia, and chest discomfort are often misinterpreted by Navy veterans as being age-related, when in fact they are not entirely if they have asbestos fibers attached to the lungs. Navy veterans who suffer asbestos-related illnesses are eligible for compensation via asbestos trust funds and VA claims.

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Shipmates on USS Hutchins (DD-476)