USS St. Andrews (CVE-49) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS St. Andrews (CVE-49) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on March 12, 1943, and launched on July 31, the same year. It was commissioned on December 7, 1943, as HMS Queen with the hull number D-19 under the United Kingdom’s flag and served in the Royal Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned in July 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 646 men on board. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred back to the USA, struck from the Navy List in July 1947, and sold for scrapping in 1972 in Taiwan.

Before the health effects related to asbestos exposure, were widely known, the U.S. Navy had the "miraculous" mineral added to more than 300 products commonly found aboard every ship built and used between World War II and the late 1970s. Asbestos was used in building Navy vessels because it had higher tensile strength than steel, which was needed for warships and it was resistant to heat and chemical damage.

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