The USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and asbestos aren’t usually thought of together. The ship’s proud history includes service in the Korean War. But those who built, served on, or maintained the ship may have been exposed to asbestos, a substance commonly used in ship-building at the time of the Badoeng Strait’s construction. Asbestos exposure decades ago could result in an asbestos-related condition today.
The History of the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and Asbestos Exposure
The Beginnings of the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116)
The USS Badoeng Strait was ordered for the U.S. Navy during World War II, although her name was originally meant to be the USS San Alberto Bay. Her keel was laid down at Todd-Pacific Shipyards in Tacoma. She was launched on February 15, 1945 and commissioned on November 14, 1945 under the command of Captain Thomas A. Turner, Jr.
The Early Operations of the USS Badoeng Strait
Having missed the fighting in World War II, the USS Badoeng Strait operated as part of the Pacific Fleet out of San Diego until March 1946. After a brief cruise to Hawaii, she was decommissioned on April 20, 1946.
The USS Badoeng Strait was recommissioned on January 6, 1947. She operated in the Pacific Ocean for three years, performing training cruises, participating in antisubmarine warfare exercises, and testing new antisubmarine equipment. During this time, she served as the flagship of Carrier Division 15 and Carrier Division 17.
During the Korean War era, the USS Badoeng Strait completed three tours of duty in Korean waters: July 1950 to January 1951, October 1951 to February 1952, and October 1952 to February 1953. She served as a member of Task Force 95 and Task Force 77 as part of the blockade-escort force as well as on antisubmarine warfare duty.
The USS Badoeng Strait provided air support during the Battle of Pusan Perimeter during August and September of 1950. She supported the invasion of Incheon from September 15 to September 20. The battle was a victory for United Nations forces and resulted in the retaking of Seoul by the South Koreans. The aircraft carrier also took part in the Hungnam Evacuation, a complete withdrawal of UN forces from North Korea. The evacuation took two weeks to complete, removing over 100,000 military personnel, 17,000 vehicles, 350,000 tons of cargo, and 90,000 refugees.
The USS Badoeng Strait After the Korean War
The USS Badoeng Strait returned to the United States for modernization from April to September 1953. In addition to Pacific Fleet training exercises and exercises with Marine assault helicopters, she also conducted experimental work in antisubmarine warfare with new naval helicopters and aircraft.
The Badoeng Strait returned to the Far East for another tour of duty from February to July 1956. She participated in Operation Redwing, testing nuclear detonations at Eniwetok and Bikini Atolls.
The USS Badoeng Strait was decommissioned on May 17, 1957. She was reclassified as an aircraft transport, AKV-16, in May 1959. She was removed from the Naval Vessel Register in December 1970 and sold for scrap in May 1972. The aircraft carrier received six battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for her service during the Korean War.
What You Need to Know About the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and Asbestos Exposure
The USS Badoeng Strait and asbestos go hand in hand. Like all other ships built during the World War II era, the Badoeng Strait was constructed using asbestos-containing components. The toxic substance asbestos was prized for its fireproofing properties as well as its resistance to heat, water, and corrosion. Because it was such a cheap insulator, asbestos could be found in electrical wiring, sealants, rope, turbines, gaskets, incinerators, boilers, valves, hot water pipes, steam pipes, floor and ceiling tiles, wall insulation, engine rooms, and caulking. It was also used extensively within the aircraft she carried.
For those who served or worked on the Badoeng Strait, asbestos-related conditions may be a concern. Construction, normal repairs, and general maintenance could have caused asbestos particles to be released into the air. Anyone who was in contact with the ship may well have been exposed to asbestos and be at risk for related diseases. Even the family members of those exposed to asbestos are at risk from secondhand exposure. If you or a loved one served or worked on the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116), mesothelioma and related evaluations should be part of your healthcare regimen.
Anyone who served aboard the USS Badoeng Strait or participated in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing life-threatening asbestos-related illnesses like lung cancer, asbestosis, throat cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, or mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that attacks the protective lining surrounding the lungs and other organs.
USS Badoeng Strait workers and their families should monitor their health carefully and consult a doctor if they experience any symptoms associated with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related conditions. For anyone who worked on or around the USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116) and mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition is a possibility, should also consider contacting a lawyer to discuss their legal rights. Reach the Nemeroff Law Firm for a free consultation at 866-342-1929 or by using our online chat.