USS Jamaica (CVE-43) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Jamaica (CVE-43) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on November 13, 1942, and launched on April 21, the following year. It was commissioned on September 27, 1943, as HMS Shah with the hull number D-21 under the United Kingdom’s flag and served in the Royal Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on February 7, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 890 men on board and had its main missions in Vancouver, San Francisco, Melbourne, Colombo, the Indian Ocean, and Burma. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred back to the USA and turned into a merchant ship in 1946 as Salta.

Because of its heat and fire resistance characteristics, asbestos was found in a number of areas on escort carriers, in particular in pipe wrapping which insulated ducts steam pipes aboard these vessels. Anyone who served on an escort carrier should monitor their health carefully, and consult a doctor if they experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, dry cough or wheezing, chest pain or tightness.

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