Asbestos in the military

USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2)

USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2)Description:  History of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) including information about asbestos exposure for workers.

The USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) was originally designated DD-952. She was ordered for the U.S. Navy on March 28, 1957. Her keel was laid down at Bath Iron Works on June 16, 1958. She was launched on September 8, 1959 and commissioned on September 10, 1960 under the command of Commander W.R. Monroe, Jr.

Nicknamed the “Charlie Deuce,” USS Charles F. Adams was the first ship in the U.S. Navy to be designed specifically to launch antiaircraft missiles. One of her first missions was to aid in the recovery operations for the Mercury 8 space mission. During this mission, the Cuban Missile Crisis broke out, and the destroyer headed to the Caribbean to take part in the naval quarantine around Cuba.

USS Charles F. Adams then served as the flagship for surveillance of Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic during the Cold War. She shifted her homeport from Charleston to Mayport in July 1969. The destroyer would later patrol the waters around Lebanon, Libya, and the Persian Gulf throughout the troubles in each region during the 1970s and 1980s.

The USS Charles F. Adams was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on November 20, 1992. She remains on hold as a museum ship pending the successful fundraising efforts of the Adams Class Veterans Association in Jacksonville, Florida.

Like other ships of her time, the USS Charles F. Adams was constructed using a number of asbestos-containing components. The toxic substance asbestos was prized for its resistance to heat, fire, water, and corrosion, so it could be found in nearly all areas of the destroyer, including floor and ceiling tiles, wall insulation, steam pipes, hot water pipes, pumps, boilers, valves, gaskets, turbines, incinerators, rope, and fire doors. Anyone who served onboard the USS Charles F. Adams or participated in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing serious asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis, lung cancer, throat cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that targets the protective lining surrounding the lungs and other organs.

USS Charles F. Adams workers should monitor their health carefully, and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms associated with mesothelioma.  Anyone who worked in or around the USS Charles F. Adams, and is diagnosed with mesothelioma, should also consider contacting a lawyer to discuss their legal rights.

Other Charles F. Adams class destroyers include:

USS Barney (DDG-6)

USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22)

USS Berkeley (DDG-14)

USS Buchanan (DDG-14)

USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5)

USS Cochrane (DDG-21)

USS Conyngham (DDG-17)

USS Goldborough (DDG-20)

USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7)

USS Hoel (DDG-13)

USS John King (DDG-3)

USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16)

USS Lawrence (DDG-4)

USS Lynde McCormick (DDG-8)

USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23)

USS Robison (DDG-12)

USS Sampson (DDG-10)

USS Sellers (DDG-11)

USS Semmes (DDG-18)

USS Tattnall (DDG-19)

USS Towers (DDG-9)

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