USS Ross (DD-563) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Ross (DD-563)

The USS Ross (DD-563) was a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down in 1942 and commissioned in 1944. She was the only ship in U.S. naval history to survive two underwater mine explosions. The destroyer joined Task Force 52 the same year and sailed for Saipan at the beginning of the Marianas and Palaus Campaign, providing carrier screening and plane guard services. While covering minesweeping and hydrography units, she struck two mines and entered repairs. After that, the vessel was assigned to air-sea rescue duty for troops until her decommissioning in 1946. She was inactive for the next five years but was recommissioned in 1951 for operations off southern California. After conversion, the ship received a tripod mainmast for high-tech radar and armament recalibration to counter missiles. In 1953, she operated in the Caribbean and performed assignments with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. The USS Ross was decommissioned in 1959, stricken from the Register in 1974, and sunk as a target in 1978. The destroyer earned five battle stars during World War II. Though the Navy stopped using asbestos in the mid-1970s, the ships containing the mineral remained in service for many years. It put Navy personnel in danger of inhaling or ingesting toxic asbestos fibers and developing severe asbestos diseases decades later.

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Shipmates on USS Ross (DD-563)