USS Prince (CVE-45) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Prince (CVE-45) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on December 17, 1942, and launched on May 18, the following year. It was commissioned on January 17, 1944, as HMS Rajah with the hull number D-10 under the United Kingdom’s flag and served in the Royal Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on February 7, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 646 men on board. After the decommissioning, the USS Prince (CVE-45) was transferred back to the USA and struck from the Navy List on February 7, 1947.

Asbestos - a naturally occurring mineral that is relatively simple to extract and available in large quantities - was an ideal material for use in the shipbuilding industry. It was inexpensive to produce and manufacturers across the world used it in a number of different forms. In the U.S. Navy, asbestos was used because of a number of beneficial properties: resistance to fire, ability to withstand chemical attacks, resistance to harsh weather conditions, an excellent insulation material. Veterans then exposed to asbestos suffer today from severe asbestos-related pulmonary conditions.

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