USS Searcher (AGR-4) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Searcher (AGR-4) was a radar picket ship that was acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1954 for radar picket duty in the Atlantic. The ship was laid down in December 1944 in Panama City as the Liberty Ship James W. Wheeler. It was acquired by the U.S. Navy from the Maritime Administration in 1954 and converted for radar picket duty in Charleston, California. The ship was equipped with electronic search and tracking equipment and assigned the job of tracking and reporting enemy aircraft on the East Coast. It was decommissioned in 1965 and after sitting for five years in the reserve fleet at Hudson River, it was sold for scrapping. Asbestos is a virtually indestructible mineral that conducts heat and electricity and is fire and chemical resistant. It has been widely used in manufacturing and included as a material in many home and commercial products for more than a century. It was widely used in almost every Navy ship from the 1930s to the early 1980s. The most common asbestos diseases are lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

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Shipmates on USS Searcher (AGR-4)