USS Watchman (AGR-16) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Watchman (AGR-16) was a Guardian-class radar picket ship built in 1945 at J. A. Jones Construction Co. Inc., Panama City, Florida, as SS Vernon S. Wood. The ship was launched on 20 February 1945, and one month later, she was delivered to the Maritime Commission to be operated by Overlakes Freight Co. under a Maritime Commission contract. In 1958 she was acquired by the US Navy and converted to a Radar Picket Ship at Charleston Naval Shipyard, Charleston, S.C. On 5 January 1958, the USS Watchman (AGR-16) was placed in commission at Charleston, with Lt. Comdr. Irvin Boaz in command. Navy veterans employed in various areas of ships were often exposed to asbestos in their everyday line of work. For example, enginemen inhaled asbestos dust while operating, maintaining and repairing the internal combustion engine used to power the Navy ships. The pipes that traversed the ceilings on the ships were covered with asbestos insulation. Engine vibrations would cause the mineral to flake onto crew members’ bunks and other exposed surfaces.

High risk of asbestos exposure

  • Engine Rooms
  • Damage Control Room
  • Pump Room
  • Propulsion Room

Medium risk of asbestos exposure

  • Powder and Shot Magazine
  • Ward Room

Low risk of asbestos exposure

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Shipmates on USS Watchman (AGR-16)

WILLIAM GEORGE CHAPMAN

90 years old

Alive

RAYMOND LEONARD HAND

81 years old

Alive

GUY G. DALTON

91 years old

Alive

FRANK JOHN MCNAMARA

unknown age

Uncertain N/A

EARL W. MOLLOY

86 years old

Dead

ROBERT MANOR STAMPS II

87 years old

Alive

LYLE DEAN THOMSEN

77 years old

Dead

WOODROW WILSON JR.

84 years old

Dead

LESLIE ALLAN WILLIAMS

91 years old

Alive

THOMAS ROBERTS WIGGIN

81 years old

Alive