USS Saipan (CVL-48) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Saipan (CVL-48) was a Saipan-class light aircraft carrier laid down on July 10, 1944, and launched on July 8, the following year. It was commissioned on July 14, 1946, under Capt. John G. Crommelin’s command with the hull number CVL-48 and served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years until it was decommissioned on January 14, 1970. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 1,721 people on board and had its main missions in Pensacola, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Quonset Point, Greenland, Guantanamo Bay, Hampton Roads, Panama, Taiwan, Manila, Haiti, Tonkin Gulf, and Pearl Harbor. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on August 15, 1975, and sold for scrapping to Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service in 1976. On Navy ships, asbestos was applied in rooms and on installations inside as well as outside the engine rooms in a manner that potentially could put the entire crew at risk. Most insulation aboard contained asbestos, including that of the hull. The vibrations during sailing and gunnery practice would release asbestos fibers to the breathing atmosphere in most areas aboard. Inhaling large amounts of asbestos fibers or dust over an extended period of time can damage and scar the lungs, which makes breathing difficult.

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Shipmates on USS Saipan (CVL-48)

William S. Aldrich

Fred P. Beaudry

Frank J. Cafarella

Eugene Andrew Cernan

Laurent F. Cote Sr.

John Geraerdt Crommelin Jr.

John Sprigg Duvall IV

James A. Fetterman

Frank L. Hoeflich Jr.

Louis W. Ippolito

William S. Miller

Bernard W. Schaetten

Roy O. Thompson Jr.

Robert E. Woerner

Ralph W. D. Woods

Thomas Joseph Worrell