The USS Buchanan (DD-131) served in the US Navy for over two decades in the early 20th century, and then served with the British Royal Navy. She was named for Admiral Franklin Buchanan who served in the Mexican-American War and with the Confederate Navy in the Civil War. Buchanan was built as a Wickes- class destroyer.
Buchanan was laid down in Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works, and then launched and commissioned in January 1919, with Lieutenant H.H.J. Bensen in command. Carrying a crew of 103, Buchanan was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Buchanan was assigned to Commander, Destroyer Force at Guantanamo, Cuba, with Destroyer Squadron 2, and then was deployed to the Pacific Fleet in July 1919 and served with Destroyer Flotilla 4. Decommissioned in San Diego from June 1922 to April 1930, Buchanan then joined Destroyer Division 10, Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Force for routine activities. She was placed with the Rotating Destroyer Squadron 20 in the summer of 1934, and fully commissioned in December with Division 5, Destroyers, Battle Force.
From December 1939 to February 1940, Buchanan joined Division 65, Destroyer Squadron 32, Atlantic Fleet to conduct Neutrality Patrol, and then patrolled the Gulf of Mexico out of Houston and Key West. Buchanan arrived at Boston Navy Yard in September and was decommissioned in Halifax, Nova Scotia before being transferred to the United Kingdom.
Buchanan was renamed HMS Campbeltown upon commissioning with the Royal Navy, and joined the 7th Escort Group, Liverpool, in the Western Approaches Command. The former Buchanan was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic and endured several encounters with German U-boats and, in September 1941, rescued survivors of the Norwegian motor tanker Vinga.
The former Buchanan participated in the raid at St. Nazaire, France, on March 28, 1942, and was destroyed. Her crew escaped, but German inspectors received heavy casualties when five tons of explosives detonated, and Lieutenant Commander S.H. Beattie, R.N. was taken as a prisoner of war, but later awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Buchanan (DD-131)
Using asbestos in the construction of marine vessels was mandated by law in the US in the early 1930s, after a fire at sea on the SS Morro Castle killed more than 100 people. Ships like Buchanan installed asbestos insulation extensively, particularly in boilers and engine spaces, as well as for insulation in all sections of the ship. If asbestos-containing material is worn or damaged it becomes friable, which means that the fibers can break off and escape into the air, and then can be breathed in by ship's crew or shipfitters, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma.
Sadly, a mesothelioma prognosis is rarely positive; generally mesothelioma patients have a life expectancy of less than two years after a diagnosis. Since mesothelioma is not a common condition, not all clinics or doctors can deliver the best mesothelioma treatment. If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma our mesothelioma information packet can provide you with valuable information. It comes complete with the legal options and treatment choices that are avaiable, along with a list of mesothelioma clinics in the United States. All you have to do is complete the form on this page and we will send you your packet, at no cost to you.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-131 (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd131txt.htm) Retrieved 21 December 2010
NavSource Naval History, USS Buchanan (DD-131).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/131.htm) Retrieved 21 December 2010