USS Swasey (DE-248) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Swasey (DE-248) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort laid down on December 30, 1942, and launched on December 18, the following year. It was commissioned on August 31, 1943, under Lt. Cmdr. H. M. Godsey’s command as DE-248 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on March 15, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 209 people on board and had its main missions in Texas, Norfolk, Casablanca, Charleston, Bermuda, New York, Pearl Harbor, and Argentia. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on November 1, 1972, and sold for scrapping on January 30, 1974. Since the use of asbestos was highly prevalent within the military during the last century, numerous U.S. Navy veterans have recently come to struggle with conditions most of which cause progressive scarring of pulmonary tissue ultimately leading to asbestosis, lung cancer, bronchial cancer, and mesothelioma. Anyone directly handling asbestos-based products used on Navy ships, or working below deck could be at risk for developing one of these diseases years later, especially insulators, boilermakers, pipe coverers, hull maintenance workers, electricians, and engine operators.

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Shipmates on USS Swasey (DE-248)

William Sherwood Henry

August Byron Hoffmeister

Thomas E. Horan

James Junior Weist