USS Kennedy (DD-306)
USS Kennedy (DD-306) was one of more than 150 Clemson-class destroyers to be constructed for the US Navy after World War I. She was named in honor of Secretary of the Navy John P. Kennedy, who also served as a US Representative from Maryland.
Kennedy was launched by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California on February 15, 1919. She was sponsored by Mrs. Eugene F. Essner. Lieutenant Commander Charles Jefferson Parrish took command of Kennedy on August 16, 1920.
As was the case with all Clemson-class destroyers, Kennedy was capable of reaching up to 35 knots of speed. Unlike the Wickes-class before it, Clemson-class destroyers were characterized by wing tanks located on either side of the ship. The tanks, which were located above the waterline, made it possible for the ships to carry more fuel than the previous classes of destroyers. Due to the location of the tanks, however, the Clemson-class of destroyers wasmore vulnerable to attack. Clemson-class destroyers also featured a larger rudder than the previous class, which decreased their turning radius.
Following her commissioning, Kennedy reported to her homeport of San Diego, California. She then joined the Pacific Fleet in maneuvers and exercises along the west coast. Kennedy then preceded to engage in plane-guard duty, torpedo practice, fleet problems, gunnery drills and war maneuvers from the Pacific Northwest to South America for the next several years.
In the spring of 1924, Kennedy travelled with her fleet to the Caribbean via the Panama Canal. Upon returning to San Diego in April, she resumed operating out of her homeport. In June the following year, Kennedy joined in joint exercises and fleet problems off Hawaii. She accompanied the Battle Fleet during this cruise, which included sailing to Pago Pago, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia, before returning to San Diego in September.
In 1927, Kennedy returned to the Caribbean to engage in more exercises, which involved making calls to Norfolk, Virginia and New York before sailing back to San Diego. In April 1928, Kennedy returned to Hawaiian waters for large scale maneuvers before returning to San Diego two months later. In the summer of 1929, Kennedy participated in training cruises before returning to San Diego.
Kennedy was decommissioned on May 1, 1930 while in San Diego. Her hulk was sold for scrap on March 19, 1931 in accordance with the London Treaty, which called for the limitation of naval armament.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Kennedy (DD-306)
Using asbestos-containing materials in the construction of naval vessels was ordered by law in the US in the 1930s, after a fire at sea aboard the SS Morro Castle caused the deaths of 137 passengers and crew. Kennedy installed asbestos-containing materials frequently, especially in ship's boilers and engineering rooms, and to insulate compartments in all parts of the vessel. When asbestos insulation is worn or damaged it becomes friable, meaning that fibers can break off and enter the atmosphere, where they are inhaled or ingested by ship's crew or shipfitters, potentially leading to the development of mesothelioma. The damage brought about by asbestos happens when microscopic fibers are breathed in or swallowed; they can invade the respiratory system and occasionally the stomach, leading to scarring in the case of pleural plaques and damage at the DNA level in the case of malignant mesothelioma.
Since mesothelioma spreads rapidly and is often diagnosed in the later stages, the prognosis for the disease is generally not optimistic. If someone you know has contracted peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma, you have legal rights and a qualified mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand. Reliable information about mesothelioma can also be found in our mesothelioma information packet. It contains up-to-date information about your legal options and choices for medical treatment, and a list of clinical trials in the United States. Just complete the form on this page and we will send you a package at no charge.
Kennedy. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/t5/thompson-i.htm Retrieved 31 December 2010.