USS Renshaw (DD-499) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Renshaw (DD/DDE-499), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was laid down 7 May 1942 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey; launched on 13 October 1942, sponsored by Miss Dorothy Lillian Renshaw; and commissioned on 5 December 1942, with Lieutenant Commander C. F. Chillingworth in command. The USS Renshaw (DD/DDE-499) was decommissioned on 14 February 1970 and was struck from the Navy List the same day. It was sold for scrapping in October 1970 to Zidell Explorations, Inc. The ship earned eight battle stars for World War II service; five battle stars for Korean War service; and six battle stars for Vietnam War service. Ship's Bell survives and is at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. 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 Navy veterans and shipyard workers breathed the asbestos fibers. The manufacturers and distributors of asbestos-containing products failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the health hazards, although they knew – or should have known – of these dangers since as far back as the 1920s.

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Shipmates on USS Renshaw (DD-499)