USS Willard Keith (DD-775) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Willard Keith (DD-775) was an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer laid down on March 5, 1944, and launched on August 29, the same year. It was commissioned on December 27, 1944, under Comdr. Lewis L. Snyder’s command with the hull number DD-775 and served in the US Navy for 28 years until it was decommissioned on July 1, 1972. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 336 people on board and had its main missions in Newport, Cuba, New York, Norfolk, and the Gulf of Mexico. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on July 15, 1972, and sold to Colombia the same day where it was renamed Caldas. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Willard Keith (DD-775) received two battle stars. Navy veterans were exposed to a lot of asbestos during their active duty in the military, as the mineral was widely used for both internal and external parts of ship machinery as an insulator and fireproofing material. All service members who have spent time around these materials, whether they were serving aboard the ship or repairing or building vessels, were at a high risk of inhaling the microscopic fibers dispersed into the air.

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Shipmates on USS Willard Keith (DD-775)

Guilford Dudley Acker

Owen E. Adams

Henry D. Ainley

Milford R. Casteel

James D. Conway

Raymond A. Fassberger

Paul Revere Fay

Robert John Friedhaber

Thomas Richard Kuhn

John Garrett Ladd

Frank Ronald Lemanski

Leslie James O'brien

John Redden

Robert G. Swope

Joseph R. Valinoti