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USS Bailey (DD-492)

The USS Bailey (DD-492) was a Benson class destroyer in the US Navy during World War II. The third ship to bear this name, she was named after Admiral Theodorus Bailey (1805-1877), a US Navy officer during the American Civil War.


Built in Staten Island, NY, by the Bethlehem Steel Company, Bailey was launched in December 1941, and commissioned in May 1942, under the command of Lieutenant Commander F. D. Karns, Jr.

Naval History

After reporting to the Pacific Fleet, Bailey joined Task Force 8 and fulfilled her duties patrolling the Aleutian Islands. In 1943, Bailey participated in the invasion of Amchitka Island and the following spring she served in the Battle of the Komandorski Island.

Bailey engaged the Japanese cruiser Nachi and inflicted several gunfire hits but received three direct hits herself which killed five men and wounded another six and caused major damage to the vessel. Bailey received temporary repairs at Dutch Harbor, Alaska and then reported to the Mare Island Navy Yard, CA, for permanent repairs in April.

In October 1943, Bailey arrived at Pearl Harbor and performed as a fire-support, picket and patrol ship for the next year. She fought in the invasions of Tarawa, Maloelap, and Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, and in Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas Islands. In addition, Bailey served in the invasions at Peleliu and Angaur in the Palau Islands.

While maintaining a forward position off the Palaus to warn of an enemy advance, Bailey was attacked and defended herself against two strafing attacks which killed nine men and wounded sixteen more. She sustained widespread damage and needed to make emergency repairs before returning to Mare Island for permanent restoration.

By the end of December 1944, Bailey had arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the spring of 1945, she reinforced troop landings on the beachheads at Mindanao and Borneo, and her final mission involved training maneuvers in Far Eastern seas.

Bailey was inactivated at Boston, MA by the end of 1945, and taken out of commission in the reserve fleet at Charleston, SC in May 1946. Bailey was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in June of 1968 and sunk off the Florida coast as a target 18 months later.

Bailey received nine battle starsand the Navy Unit Commendation for her service in the Pacific.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Bailey (DD-492)

All personnel stationed or working on Bailey likely suffered some exposure to asbestos during their service. This is because the ship was constructed and sailed before the dangers of the mineral were fully known, and it was widely used to fireproof and insulate the vessel. Sailors that served in the Bailey's engineering sections, handled machinery, put out fires, or conducted repairs have the highest risk of health consequences as a result of their time aboard. The most serious illness associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma.

If you served on or serviced the USS Bailey and were later diagnosed with an asbestos disease, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will help you fully understand your legal rights and options. Please complete the form on this page to be sent a detailed guide about mesothelioma, its treatment, and what you can expect.



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

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January 11, 2017
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