USS Presley (DE-371) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Presley (DE-371) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on June 6, 1944, and launched on August 19, the same year. It was commissioned on November 7, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. Richard S. Paret’s command as DE-371 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on June 20, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Pearl Harbor, Texas, Bermuda, Leyte, Manus, Okinawa, Panama Canal, Truk, and Ulithi. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on June 30, 1968, and sold for scrapping in 1970. Notably, there was some concern about the dangers of asbestos as far back as World War II. However, because of the pressing threat of fires on Navy ships, builders ignored the concerns because of the substances’ benefits. As a result, gaskets, boiler room equipment, pumps, turbines, electrical insulation, pipes, and plumbing all contained the toxic mineral. Asbestos was even woven through the ropes used throughout ships.

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Shipmates on USS Presley (DE-371)