USS Anderson (DD-411) was a Sims-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy. She was named in the honor of Rear Admiral Edwin Alexander Anderson, Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Veracruz.
Anderson was laid down by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey on November 15, 1937. Launched on February 4, 1939, Anderson was sponsored by Mrs. Mertie Loraine Anderson, who was the namesake’s widow. Lieutenant Commander William M. Hobby, Jr. took command of Anderson on May 19, 1939.
Following commissioning, Anderson participated in the New York City Flag Day parade on June 14, 1939. She then conducted gunnery exercises, torpedo firing tests and other routine duties
On the morning of the infamous Pearl Harbor attacks, Anderson was operating out of Hvalfjörður, Iceland. She left two days after the attacks, arriving at Norfolk Navy Yard on December 17, 1941. She then sailed to Charleston Navy Yard, where she underwent alternations and repairs. Following those repairs, Anderson participated in numerous screening and escort missions for the next several months.
On May 4, Anderson participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. After serving as a screen for two days, Anderson rescued 377 men from the carrier USS Lexington, which had been hit by torpedoes. On May 10, she transferred the survivors to USS Portland before heading to Noumea, New Caledonia.
On June 4, Anderson took part in the Battle of Midway. Her gunners claimed two Japanese fighter planes and also shot down a Nakajima B5N “Kate” torpedo plane just before it was able to launch its torpedo. After shooting down another retiring plane, Anderson rescued Ensign Milton Tootle IV after his plane had been shot down by a Japanese torpedo plane. She then moved on to rescue 203 men from USS Yorktown.
Anderson went on to participate in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in Guadalcanal as well as the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, during which she scored hits on two planes and downed one torpedo plane. She also saved 247 men from the carrier USS Hornet after it was torpedoed. Anderson was also involved in the Battle of Kwajalein and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
On May 15, 1946, Anderson was assigned to atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll. She was sunk on July 1, 1946 by the atomic bomb used in the Operation Crossroads test. Her name was struck from the Navy list on September 25, 1946. Anderson was awarded ten battle stars for her service during World War II.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Anderson (DD-411)
Most personnel assigned to or working on the USS Anderson were likely exposed to asbestos-containing materials to some degree. Some crewmen risked a higher level of asbestos contamination; sailors stationed in the engineering sections, handling machinery, dealing with fire, or repairing damage were considerably more likely to inhale asbestos. Inhalation or swallowing of individual asbestos fibers may eventually lead to the development of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.
Repair and shipyard servicemen, whether building a new ship or refitting or repairing damage to an existing vessel, were also at risk of being exposed extensively to asbestos fibers at dangerous levels. The family members of dockyard and shipbuilding workers were often exposed to asbestos contamination, through contamination of the work clothes worn on the job by the workers and brought back to their homes.
Individuals who worked regularly with frayed or damaged asbestos insulation over an extensive time period have a much greater risk of developing pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma than those who had lower levels of exposure over a similar time frame, or a very high level of exposure over a brief amount of time. Working in proximity to damaged asbestos or damaged ship components potentially exposed Anderson's crewmen and yard workers to dangerous quantities of asbestos and they may be at risk for developing mesothelioma. As exposure to asbestos is currently the only known cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis, there are often legal options for patients who have developed asbestos-related conditions.Sources
Anderson. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a8/anderson.htm)Retrieved 8 January 2011