The USS Braine (DD-630) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades in the middle of the 20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Daniel Lawrence Braine who served in the Mexican War and the Civil War. Braine was a member of the Fletcher class of destroyers.
Braine was laid down at Bath, Maine by Bath Iron Works in October 1942, launched in March 1943, and commissioned in May with Commander J.F. Newman, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 273, Braine was 376 feet five inches long and armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, and four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns.
Braine arrived on the west coast in the summer of 1943 and then sailed to Pearl Harbor on an escort mission. In October, Braine participated in the bombardment of Wake Island, then operated during troop landings at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville in November. Escorting re-supply ships for two months following the invasion, Braine then participated in troop landings at Green Island in February 1944. Braine was also on duty for the Emirau Island landings, and then conducted bombardments during the invasion of the Mariana Islands in June.
Braine returned to the United States, then redeployed for the Leyte invasion in October and the January 1945 Lingayen Gulf assault in the Philippines. In February, Braine supported troop landings at locations in Manila Bay, and then served radar picket and fire support duty for forces at Zamboanga and Mindanao. Braine operated on radar picket duty at Okinawa in May, where she destroyed two kamikaze planes. The destroyer underwent repairs at Kerama Retto and then at Boston.
Braine was decommissioned in reserve at Charleston, South Carolina in July 1946. Reactivated in April 1951, Braine was deployed to the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet in the spring, and then returned to Mediterranean duty from May to October 1953. Following this deployment, Braine operated in the Caribbean and along the east coast, and then was assigned to Cruisers-Destroyers Pacific Fleet in December 1954. Braine operated off Japan from January to June 1955, returned to California for the last time in July 1956, and was struck from the Navy list in August 1971. She was then transferred to Argentina as Admirante Domecq Garcia, and sunk as a target in October 1983.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Braine (DD-630)
Aboard the USS Braine, asbestos was used in many compartments as insulation for the rooms, steam pipes and other heavy equipment that could become very hot such as the boilers. Asbestos containing products were used in greater concentration in specific areas of the Braine. The engineering and power generating areas of the ship, for example, used asbestos widely to insulate conduits, to cover boilers, and to protect elements of the ship's engines and turbines. The other areas of Braine also used asbestos-containing materials, particularly crew dining areas and kitchens, sleeping quarters and ammunition lockers.
Aboard ship, asbestos became worn and frayed with use, and over time became friable. This means that the individual fibers of asbestos in the material were dislodged and those nearby would breathe them into the lungs or ingest them through the mouth. The development of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by exposure to this toxic substance in this way.
As being exposed to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses, there are often legal options available for veterans who have contracted these diseases. Our team has compiled a helpful mesothelioma information packet that you can request by filling out the form on this page.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-630.
NavSource Naval History. USS Braine (DD-630).