USS Vermillion Bay (CVE-108) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Vermillion Bay (CVE-108) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier that was renamed Kula Gulf before being laid down on November 6, 1943, and launched on August 15, the following year. It was commissioned for the first time on May 12, 1945, with the hull number CVE-108 under Capt. J. W. King’s command and served in the US Navy for 9 years until it was decommissioned for the last time on October 6, 1969. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 1066 men on board and had its main missions in San Diego, Leyte, East China Sea, Okinawa, Saipan, Guam, China, Norfolk, Korea, and Vietnam. Asbestos has been used extensively in nearly all components of the military ships. Common uses of asbestos in shipbuilding included fireproofing lining, steam pipe insulation, block insulation, and spray insulation. Naval shipyard workers were put in charge of handling asbestos-containing materials, such as adhesives, paneling, pipe covering, and more. The harmful effects of asbestos-containing materials don’t refer only to shipyard workers handling such materials during assembly but also the Navy personnel aboard these ships during the military operations.

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Shipmates on USS Vermillion Bay (CVE-108)

Richard Robert Ballinger

George M. Bailey

Alan Jonfre Airington