The USS Aulick (DD-258) served in the US Navy for over two decades in the early 20th century before being transferred to Great Britain. She was named for John H. Aulick, who served in the US Navy during the War of 1812 and with the East India Squadron in the early 1850s. Aulick was a Clemson-class destroyer.
Aulick was laid down at Quincy, Massachusetts by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in December 1918, launched in April 1919, and commissioned in July with Lieutenant Commander Lee P. Johnson in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Aulick was driven by Curtis turbines, had a displacement of 1,215 tons, and sailed at a cruising speed of 35 knots. She was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Aulick was deployed with Destroyer Flotilla 10 of the Pacific Fleet, and conducted routine fleet exercises until being decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard in May 1922. She remained in reserve until being re-commissioned at San Diego, California in June 1939, and returned to the east coast of the United States until the fall of 1940, when she was decommissioned at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Aulick was then transferred to the British as part of the agreement to exchange American destroyers for British military bases in the Atlantic, and was struck from the Navy list in December 1941.
Upon transfer to the British Royal Navy, Aulick was renamed HMS Burnham, and was assigned to escort duty in December 1940. The former Aulick served on several escort voyages between Iceland and Newfoundland, and in 1942 and 1943, operated mostly between Newfoundland and Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She was also used for aircraft training in the Western Approaches Command in 1944, before being put on reserve at Milford Haven, Wales, in November. The former Aulick was scrapped in December 1948, at Pembroke, England.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Aulick (DD-258)
Installing asbestos-containing materials in the design of marine vessels was mandated by law in the United States in the early 1930s, after a deadly fire aboard the SS Morro Castle resulted in enormous loss of life. Aulick made use of asbestos insulation heavily, particularly in ship's boilers and engine compartments, and to insulate steam pipes in other parts of the vessel. If asbestos is damaged it can become friable, meaning that the fibers can be broken off and escape into the atmosphere, and then can be breathed in by naval personnel or dockworkers, potentially leading to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos has been known for centuries for its insulation properties; however, it has also been shown to be the only known factor in the development of life-threatening conditions like pleural plaques and peritoneal mesothelioma.
At the present time doctors have not yet found a cure for mesothelioma; however, dedicated cancer specialists such as Dr. David Sugarbaker are constantly working to create new treatment modalities. If someone you know has developed mesothelioma it is important to know that they have legal rights. A professional mesothelioma lawyer can help them understand what they are and work with them to determine an appropriate course of action.
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Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-258.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd258txt.htm Retrieved 3 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Aulick (DD-258).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/258.htm Retrieved 3 January 2011.