The USS Fletcher was laid down in New Jersey in 1941 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. As the lead destroyer of the Fletcher class, the USS Fletcher and her crew served valiantly in World War II and the Korean War, receiving many awards for their work in the Pacific (20 battle stars total).
Asbestos in the USS Fletcher
As a warship of her era, the USS Fletcher most likely had many components that contained asbestos, the mineral used for heat and friction resistance in hundreds of shipbuilding applications. The thousands of men and women who helped build, maintain and repair the Fletcher or served aboard her were at risk of being exposed to a toxic level of asbestos, during their WWII service.
Conversion, Decommission, Scrap
The Fletcher took a serious hit in 1945; the damage may also have provided serious asbestos exposure. In 1949, the ship was converted to an escort destroyer (DDE-445), and was eventually decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. The personnel who participated in the scrapping of the Fletcher in 1972 may also have been exposed to high levels of asbestos.
If you or a loved one served on board the USS Fletcher or another U.S. Navy ship you are likely to have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. For more information and resources, please contact us today.