USS Midas (ARB-5) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Midas (ARB-5) was an Aristaeus-class battle damage repair ship laid down on August 31, 1943, and launched on December 24, the same year. It was commissioned on May 23, 1944, under Lt. Robert A. Young’s command with the hull number ARB-5 and served in the US Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on January 17, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 260 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, New Guinea, Society Islands, New Caledonia, San Pedro, San Diego, Samar, and San Francisco. After the decommissioning, the ship was sold to Colombia where its name was kept. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Midas received one battle star. Asbestos was extensively used in the construction of ships, barracks, and other structures, equipment such as tanks, repair of vehicles and aircraft, weaponry, and clothing - nearly anything service members touched, used or wore. As a result, malignant and non-malignant asbestos-related conditions are rampant among those who served. The main reasons for this extensive use were because the mineral was very cheap to mine and manufacture into materials for the armed forces, and because it has the remarkable ability to resists heat, fire, chemical, and biological break-down.

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Shipmates on USS Midas (ARB-5)