USS Willis (DE–395) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Willis (DE–395) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort laid down on July 17, 1943, and launched on September 14, the same year. It was commissioned on December 10, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. G. R. Atterbury’s command with the hull number DE-395 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on June 14, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 209 people on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, Charleston, New York, Norfolk, Maine, the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, Florida, Azores, Bayonne, and Casco Bay. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on July 1, 1972, and sold for scrapping to Edward O. Sanchez in New Bedford the same year. Widespread use of asbestos prevailed in the 20th century. The United States military, the shipbuilding industry, were major buyers of asbestos-containing materials. The shipbuilding industry has taken advantage of its unique chemical composition and physical properties to make ships safer. Microscopic fibers were released into the air whenever asbestos-containing products had to be installed, repaired, removed or wore down naturally placing all those nearby in danger.

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Shipmates on USS Willis (DE–395)

Ralph Edgar Bailey

Jean Jerome Boortz

George Lester Beery Jr.

Joaquin Esase Bristol

John Henry Cowle Jr.

Winford F. Cox

Thomas Houston Crowe

Howard Dobson

Richard Francis Dugan Jr.

Harold Raymond Andrus

Edward A. Geier

James W. Goheen

Victor Dale Horsfal

Robert Richard Kevan

James C. Linville

John Michael Marusa

Raymond J. Mello

Samuel George Ratliff Jr.

Frank E. Ruggieri

Manuel Telles

David Wright Weidenkopf