The USS Broome (DD-210) served in the US Navy for nearly three decades in the early 20th century. She was named for Lieutenant Colonel John Lloyd Broome who served with the United States Marine Corps in the Mexican-American War. Broome was constructed as a Clemson-class destroyer.
Broome was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Shipbuilding Company in October 1918, launched in May 1919, and commissioned in October with Commander C.M. Austin in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Broome was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. Broome had a cruising speed of 35 knots and a range of 4,900 nautical miles.
Broome deployed from New York Navy Yard in May 1920 to European waters, and was then assigned to the Asiatic Fleet by the end of 1920 for two years. In December 1922, Broome was placed out of commission at San Diego, California until 1930, and then served with the Pacific Fleet until 1939. She was assigned to duty in the Atlantic in May, and joined Destroyer Division 64, Patrol Force in 1941. During this deployment, Broome operated as part of the Neutrality Patrol, and later as a convoy escort in the waters between the United States and Iceland.
Broome conducted convoy escort, patrol, and training duty along the east coast of the United States, as well as off Iceland, Canada, and in the Caribbean, from January 1942 until May 1945. She also escorted trans-Atlantic convoys to North Africa and the United Kingdom.
In May 1945, Broome was overhauled at the Charleston Navy Yard and re-designated AG-96. Broome operated with the Atlantic Fleet starting in June and was attached to the Operational Training Command. Assigned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Broome served in this capacity until December, and then was overhauled in Philadelphia. She was decommissioned in May 1946, stricken from the Navy list in June, and sold for scrap in November.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Broome (DD-210)
Installing asbestos in the design of naval vessels was required by Congress in the early 1930s, after a deadly fire on a luxury liner resulted in enormous loss of life. Navy ships like Broome made use of asbestos insulation in large amounts, especially in boilers and engineering rooms, and in fireproofing in all sections of the vessel. The mineral asbestos has long been known for its fireproofing properties, but it has also been proven to be the only known factor in the development of life-threatening conditions including asbestos cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma.
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Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-210.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd210txt.htm Retrieved 27 December 2010.
NavSource Naval History, USS Broome (DD-210).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/210.htm Retrieved 27 December 2010.