USS Wautauga (AOG-22) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Wautauga (AOG-22) was a Mettawee-class gasoline tanker laid down on June 14, 1943, and launched on January 10, the following year. It was commissioned on September 28, 1944, under Lt. Robert E. McAllister’s command with the hull number AOG-22 and it served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on April 26, 1947. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 62 people on board and had its main missions in Iwo Jima, Eniwetok, Panama Canal, Guam, San Diego, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Saipan, and Canton Island. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on July 13, 1948, and sold to Taiwan where it was renamed Yu Chuan (AO-303). The dangers of asbestos exposure are well known; exposure to airborne particles can cause serious health problems. Many of the materials used to build ships contained asbestos and shipbuilders have been exposed by handling paneling, pipes, insulation, adhesives, and other materials. Workers repairing and decommissioning ships could continue to be exposed to this day. Shipyards throughout Louisiana, including Avondale, Bollinger, Higgins, and Conrad have exposed hundreds of thousands of workers to asbestos.

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Shipmates on USS Wautauga (AOG-22)