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USS Akizuki (DD-960)

The Akizuki (DD-960) served in the Japanese Navy for over three decades in the mid-to-late-20th century. The destroyer was built using funds provided by the United States Military Aid Program and was a member of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. Akizuki was the flagship of the Akizuki class of destroyers.

Construction

Akizuki was laid down by Mitsubishi at Nagasaki, Japan, launched in June 1959, and commissioned in February 1960. Carrying a crew of 330, Akizuki had a displacement of 2,890 tons and was armed with three five-inch and four three-inch rapid fire guns, one rocket launcher, two anti-submarine mortars, two anti-submarine torpedo launchers, four 21-inch torpedo tubes, two depth charge throwers, and two depth charge racks. Powered by two-shaft geared turbines, Akizuki had a cruising speed of 33 knots and could travel 8,300 miles at 18 knots.

Naval History

Akizuki operated as a unit of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and remained in commission by the Japanese Navy until December 1993. The destroyer served mainly as an anti-aircraft escort for the Japanese aircraft carrier force, like other ships in her class. Akizuki was one of twelve Akizuki-class destroyers that were built.

Constructed as a modification to the Fletcher-class design, which was widely implemented during the Second World War, Akizuki was decommissioned in 1993 and then broken up for scrap.

Asbestos Risk on the JDS Akizuki (DD-961)

Akizuki employed asbestos insulation and fireproofing throughout the ship. Some compartments employed asbestos products more widely than did others. The engine and power rooms aboard Akizuki featured the heaviest concentration of such parts, where asbestos was used to insulate pipes, to cover boilers, and to protect components of her engines and steam turbines. Likewise, certain jobs suffered higher degrees of asbestos exposure. Sailors working with heavy machinery, dealing with fire suppression, and managing battle damage were more likely to be exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. Inhalation or swallowing of asbestos may eventually lead to the development of mesothelioma.

Sources

Sources

NavSource Naval History. Akizuki (DD-960).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/960-961.htm

Long Lancers. Akizuki Class Notes by Allyn Nevitt.
http://www.combinedfleet.com/akizuk_n.htm

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