The USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) served in the U.S. Navy for three and a half decades during the middle of the 20th century. She was named for Charles Rollins Ware, a U.S. Navy officer killed during World War II. Charles R. Ware was built as a Gearing-class destroyer.
Charles R. Ware was laid down in Staten Island, New York by Bethlehem Steel in November 1944. She was launched in April 1945 and commissioned in July 1945, with Commander H.R. Wier at the helm. Charles R. Ware carried a crew of 336 and had a cruising speed of 36.8 knots. She was armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Charles R. Ware spent her first years of service based at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1946, she participated in an operation in the Arctic Circle focused on developing techniques for cold-weather operations. She then participated in an operation off the coast of Connecticut during which she served as a target for submarines in training. 1947 brought Charles R. Ware’s first tour of the Mediterranean, as well as stops at several ports across northern Europe. In 1949, the vessel supported the United Nations Palestine Truce Commission by patrolling near the Levant Coast.
Beginning in 1950, Charles R. Ware spent a decade serving with the Atlantic fleet. During this time, she completed multiple deployments to the Mediterranean and northern Europe and partnered with the Royal Navy for a number of operations. In 1957, the ship escorted the vessel carrying King Saud of Saudi Arabia to the U.S. for a state visit. Later that year, she partnered with Spanish ships for exercises, and in 1958, she rescued a downed pilot. 1959 included participation in the historic operation Inland Sea, during which a fleet of ships transited the St. Lawrence Seaway and cruised the Great Lakes.
In 1962, Charles R. Ware received her fleet modernization and rehabilitation (FRAM) upgrade. This allowed her to serve actively with the U.S. Navy for another decade before eventually being decommissioned in 1974. After more than three decades of service with the U.S. Navy, she was finally sunk as a target in the Caribbean in November 1981.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865)
Factories began using products made with asbestos late in the 19th century because it was highly well-suited for fire-proofing in industrial applications. Asbestos insulation found similar use in the construction of naval vessels like Charles R. Ware since the 1930s. Asbestos insulation was used almost universally on board ships and in naval facilities by the U.S. Navy until it was banned in 1979. Inhaling and ingesting individual asbestos fibers especially over long periods of time is linked to the development of mesothelioma.
Crew members repairing and refitting ship's machinery were exposed to high levels of asbestos, as were those who worked to handle ship damage. Those who worked daily with damaged asbestos-based insulation over an extensive time period had a much greater risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.
If you worked on the USS Charles R. Ware and are suffering from an asbestos related disease there may be legal help available to you. To request more information, simply fill out the form on this page and we will get some out to you right away.
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-865.