The first of two vessels so named, the USS Mugford (DD-105) served the United States during the years between the world wars. She was named in honor of Captain John Mugford, an officer in the Continental Navy who was killed in action during the American War of Independence.
Mugford was laid down just before Christmas on December 20, 1917, at Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California. Amost a year later, she received her official commission on November 25, 1918, under the command of Lieutenant Commander John H. Everson.
Mugford’s first assignment consisted of winter maneuvers out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January of 1919. Following these exercises, she sailed north for coastal operations between New York and Massachusetts. In November of 1919, Mugford departed Newport, Rhode Island, for San Diego, California. Once on the west coast, she undertook new duties in a seaplane division. These were the pioneering days of naval aviation; Mugford’s responsibilities did not involve aircraft carriers as we know them. Rather, as a tender, she engaged in maneuvers alongside the forebears of today’s aircraft carriers. The pioneering service of Mugford and her fellow ships helped to lay the groundwork for the naval air power that would eventually help the United States to win the Second World War.
Mugford’s career ended before WWII began. In June of 1922, she was decommissioned in San Diego. In 1936, the New York-based Schiavone Bonomo Corporation bought her for scrap.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Mugford (DD-105)
Asbestos use increased dramatically in the 1930s, well after Mugford was built. The U.S. Navy is known to have deployed asbestos insulation before many civilian ship builders, and this ship likely contained the mineral throughout her engineering sections, and in many other heat- and fire-sensitive areas. If you served aboard Mugford and later developed mesothelioma, the ship is a likely contributor to your asbestos exposure.
Mugford. Dictionary of American Fighting Ships.
http://www.history.navy.mil/DANFS/m15/mugford-i.htm). Retrieved 31 December 2010.
Grossnick, Roy A. “A Test of Strength 1917-1919.” United States Naval Aviation 1910-1995.
http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/usna1910.htm). Retrieved 31 December 2010.