Exposure to asbestos on the USS Albany isn’t how most remember this proud ship. But in addition to its peacetime and training missions, the ship’s history also contains a dark cloud: asbestos exposure to those who worked or served on the ship. Even though the ship is no longer around, the effects of asbestos exposure on the USS Albany remain.
Asbestos on the USS Albany: A Peacetime Ship With a Dangerous Legacy
In her 35-year career, the USS Albany (CA-123) participated in mostly peacetime exercises and maneuvers. But, like many ships of her day, the Albany contained parts with asbestos. Those who built the ship, served on her, or participated in the two conversions or modifications through the years are now at risk of developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure on the USS Albany.
The Early Years of the USS Albany
The USS Albany (CA-123) was ordered for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Bethlehem Steel Company laid down the keel on March 6, 1944 and began the construction. She was launched on June 30, 1945 and commissioned on June 15, 1946 under the command of Captain Harold A. Carlisle.
In her early career, the USS Albany operated off the East Coast and in the West Indies. She conducted a number of training cruises to naval reservists and NROTC midshipmen until September 11, 1948. On that date, she departed Chesapeake Bay for her first Mediterranean deployment with the Sixth Fleet. Over the next 10 years, she would continue to alternate Mediterranean cruises with East Coast operations, West Indies operations, and cruises to South America. In January 1951, she transported the official U.S. representative to the inauguration of the President of Brazil.
More Exposure to Asbestos on the USS Albany During the Ship’s Conversion to a Guided Missile Cruiser
The USS Albany was decommissioned from June 30, 1958, until November 3, 1962, as she underwent conversion as a guided missile cruiser. She was redesignated as CG-10 on November 1, 1958. Upon her recommissioning, she resumed her repertoire of Mediterranean cruises with operations in the North Atlantic, along the West Coast, and in the West Indies. Unfortunately, the in-depth conversion process led to more service men and women suffering asbestos exposure on the USS Albany.
The Later Years of the USS Albany
During her foreign cruises, the USS Albany participated in many naval exercises with friendly foreign naval units. She was again decommissioned from March 1, 1967, until November 9, 1968, as she underwent another series of modifications. The cruiser spent a third period of decommissioning from 1973 until May 1974 during a major overhaul at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Upon her recommissioning, she operated out of her homeport in Norfolk, soon becoming the flagship of the Second Fleet.
After the honor of serving as the flagship of the Second Fleet, the USS Albany had her homeport shifted to Gaeta, Italy, where she served as the flagship of the Sixth Fleet from 1976 until 1980. The cruiser was decommissioned for the last time on August 29, 1980. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on June 30, 1985 and sold for scrap in 1990. Part of the cruiser’s bow is kept at the Albany County Fairgrounds in Altamont, NY.
Asbestos on the USS Albany: A Dangerous Legacy
Like nearly every other ship built during World War II, the USS Albany (CA-123) and asbestos go hand in hand. Not known to be a toxic substance at the time, asbestos-was in many components used in the ship’s construction. Specifically, asbestos on the USS Albany was used for its fireproofing properties as well as its resistance to corrosion, heat, and water. Because of this, it could be found in virtually all areas of the cruiser, including turbines, incinerators, gaskets, boilers, valves, steam pipes, hot water pipes, caulking, pumps, wall insulation, fire doors, rope, engine rooms, floor tiles, and ceiling tiles.
Anyone who served onboard the USS Albany or participated in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis, lung cancer, throat cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and mesothelioma, a type of cancer that targets the protective lining surrounding the lungs and other organs.
Asbestos on the USS Albany and Mesothelioma
Men and women exposed to asbestos on the USS Albany should monitor their health carefully and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms of mesothelioma. Even family members who spent time with the asbestos-exposed person are at risk. If you or someone you love worked in or around the USS Albany and mesothelioma symptoms are apparent, you should also consider contacting a lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
The mesothelioma lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm have helped asbestos exposure victims nationwide. If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos on the USS Albany and now suffer from an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, contact us for a free case evaluation or call us at 866-342-1929. We’re here to fight for you.