USS Wingfield (DE-194) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Wingfield (DE-194) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort laid down on October 7, 1943, and launched on December 30, the same year. It was commissioned on January 28, 1944, under Lt. Comdr. H. E. Purdy’s command with the hull number DE-194 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on August 26, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 216 men on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, New York, Bizerte, Maine, North Africa, Plymouth, Cuba, the Marshalls, Eniwetok and Maloelap. After decommissioning, the ship was transferred to France in 1950 where it was renamed Sakalave (F-720). Because asbestos resists corrosion, chemicals, and high temperatures, it was an ideal material for use in the shipbuilding industry. Also, asbestos was a favorite of manufacturers because it was abundant and cheap. It was a favorite even though they knew the potential risks that come with exposure. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed during maintenance or repair work, fiber particles can become airborne. These particles are so small, that Navy veterans involved in working on ships or in shipyards may not even realize they’re breathing them in, but over time, they can lead to dangerous health conditions.

Questions about asbestos exposure? We can help!

Shipmates on USS Wingfield (DE-194)