The USS Allen (DD-66), which was the longest serving destroyer included on the Naval Vessel Register, was the second Navy ship to be named after Lieutenant William Henry Allen. Allen served in both World War I and World War II and earned one battle star for its service during the latter conflict.
The USS Allen was a Sampson-class destroyer that was laid down on May 15, 1915 by the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Sponsored by Miss Harriet Allen Butler and Miss Dorthea Dix Allen, she was launched on December 5, 1916 and commissioned on January 24, 1917. Final delivery of the ship was recorded on October 22, 1917.
Lieutenant Commander Samuel W. Bryant took command of the USS Allen (DD-66) when it was first commissioned on January 24, 1917. During World War I, the ship was used to conduct patrol and to escort duty in the West Indies as well as along the eastern seaboard. On June 14, she served as one of the first convoys to escort American troops to Europe. Afterward, the USS Allen (DD-66) continued to escort convoys while also patrolling against U-boats. During this time, she traveled to Queenstown, Ireland as well as French and British ports. While in Queenstown, the reported 10 separate engagements with German submarines, but German records fail to support this claim. In December 1918, she helped to escort President Woodrow Wilson into Best, France.
Following the war, the USS Allen (DD-66) underwent repairs before resuming duty in the West Indies and along the east coast. This duty continued until June 22, 1992, at which time she was placed on reserve. She was placed back in commission on June 23, 1925 and served as a training platform for nearly three years. In March 1928, she was returned to the Reserve Fleet, where she remained for over 12 years until she was recommissioned on August 23, 1940 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Frederick P. Williams.
The USS Allen (DD-66), Asbestos Risk and Mesothelioma
Asbestos was used in many areas of Navy ships like the USS Allen but could be found predominantly in the boiler and engine rooms and other high heat areas or areas that required fire-proofing. Those who performed routine maintenance and repairs on equipment in those areas like boilermen, firemen and mechanics came into frequent contact with the material on a daily basis. As a result, they were continually at risk of breathing in asbestos fibers and ultimately developing the asbestos disease known as mesothelioma.
If you served on the USS Allen and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please fill out the form on the page to receive more information about this cancer.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fight Ships.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a6/allen-ii.htm Retrieved 14 December 2010