USS Kenmore (AK-221) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Kenmore (AK-221) was a cargo ship belonging to the Crater-class that was built in the United States during World War II. Under the US Navy’s control, the ship was responsible for supporting the Asiatic-Pacific Theater operations with troops and equipment. The ship was laid down under a MARCOM contract as the Liberty Ship SS James H. McClintock at the California Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards at Terminal Island, Los Angeles. It was acquired by the Navy later that year, renamed, and commissioned under Lieutenant Commander Olin H. Pitts’s command. Throughout the 20th century, tons of asbestos were mined in our country and put in thousands of everyday products. Asbestos was very inexpensive and was used as filler in many different products throughout many different industries. For example, between World War II and the late-1970s, asbestos was widely used to insulate boilers, steam pipes, and engines aboard aircraft carriers, amphibious warships, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escorts, frigates, minesweepers, submarines, and auxiliary ships. Unfortunately, thousands of active service members and shipyard workers have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure, because it generally takes 10 to 50 years from the time of asbestos exposure until symptoms appear or asbestos-related diseases diagnosed.

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Shipmates on USS Kenmore (AK-221)

Anthony Dombroski

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