USS Killen (DD-593) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Killen (DD-593), a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, was launched on 10 January 1943, by the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. Inez Cowdrey; and commissioned on 4 May 1944, with Commander H. G. Corey in command. In January 1963, the ship was struck from the Navy List and sent to the US Naval Station at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to be used as a target ship for missile and gunnery practice off the nearby Puerto Rican island of Vieques, where it was eventually sunk/scuttled in a shallow bay in 1975 and still lies today.

During much of the 20th Century, especially during World War II and the early Cold War years, large quantities of asbestos went through shipyards into new ships and out of refurbished and decommissioned ships. Thousands of shipyard workers breathed the fine asbestos fibers. In fact, based purely on fatality statistics, working in an American shipyard during World War II was almost as deadly as fighting in the war.

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Shipmates on USS Killen (DD-593)