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USS Barney (DD-149)

USS Barney (DD-149)

The USS Barney (DD-149) served in the US Navy for over two-and-a-half decades during the early 20th century, and received one battle star for escorting Convoy UOS 37 in World War II. She was named for Commodore Joshua Barney who served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Barney was built as a Wickes-class destroyer.

Construction

Barney was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company in March 1918, launched in September, and commissioned in March 1919 with Lieutenant Commander J.L. Kauffman in command. Powered by Parsons turbines, Barney had a cruising speed of 35 knots and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Naval History

Barney was assigned to Division 19, Atlantic Fleet upon commissioning, until her service was discontinued in June 1922. Re-commissioned in May 1930, Barney operated on the east coast and in the Caribbean, and then transferred to the west coast with reduced commission. She was once again placed out of commission on the east coast from November 1936 to October 1939, and then assigned to patrol duty with the 66th Division, Atlantic Squadron. Barney also operated with the Inshore Patrol, 18th Naval District Defense Force in 1940.

Barney was deployed in the Caribbean between December 1941 and November 1943 and performed escort duty for convoys between Trinidad and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this deployment, Barney collided with Greer on September 18, 1942, was severely damaged, and lost two crew members. Barney received temporary repairs in Curacao and permanent repairs were completed at Charleston Navy Yard in December 1942.

Barney conducted two convoy escort missions to North Africa from January to May 1944, and from then until February 1945, escorted convoys in the Caribbean. In April, Barney escorted convoy UOS 37. Assigned to TE 25 in March, Barney participate submarine training exercises off Long Island, New York and Block Island, Rhode Island. Barney was reclassified as AG-113 in June 1956, decommissioned in November, and sold for scrap in October 1946.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Barney (DD-149)

Using asbestos insulation in the construction of marine vessels was mandated by the US Congress in the early 1930s, after a deadly fire on a cruise ship killed more than 100 people. Vessels like Barney utilized asbestos-containing materials heavily in boilers and engineering spaces, and for insulation all over the vessel. When asbestos gets into the body, tiny fibers get stuck in the mesothelium, a narrow body of cells that surrounds and buffers the lungs, heart, and stomach, and in time this foreign material can lead to mesothelioma.

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Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-149. (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd149txt.htm) Retrieved 23 December 2010..

NavSource Naval History, USS Barney (DD-149). (http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/149.htm) Retrieved 23 December 2010.

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