USS Zenobia (AKA-52) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The USS Zenobia (AKA-52) was an Artemis-class attack cargo ship laid down on May 12, 1945, and launched on July 6, the same year. It was commissioned on August 6, 1945, under Lt. Comdr. F. C. Rice’s command and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was decommissioned on May 7, 1946. It carried a complement of 303 men on board. After decommissioning, the USS Zenobia was struck from the Naval Register on November 30, 1946, and transferred to the government of Chile. It was renamed Presidente Pinto and it served as flagship until 1962. Because of its uncanny capacity for heat insulation and its particularly high resistance to fire, electricity, and corrosion, asbestos was referred to as the “magic mineral”. The fibrous mineral is soft and flexible, making it the ideal material for fireproofing and insulating homes, insulating the vessels' heat-producing components in warships up to the late 1970s. The properties that made asbestos so useful, also made exposure to it hazardous and, in many cases, lethal. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing life-threatening diseases that necessitate expensive medical care, as well as causing pain and suffering.

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Shipmates on USS Zenobia (AKA-52)

Walter Horace Carter

James Francis Corcoran