The USS Bulmer (DD-222) served in the US Navy for nearly three decades in the early 20th century, and received two battle stars for her service in World War II. She was named for Captain Roscoe Carlyle Bulmer who served with the US Navy in World War I. Bulmer was built as a Clemson-class vessel.
Bulmer was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company in August 1919, launched in January 1920, and commissioned in August with Lieutenant Commander J.C. Jennings in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Bulmer had a displacement of 1,215 tons and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Bulmer joined the Pacific Fleet in 1920, and then was deployed with United States Naval Forces, Europe in 1923 and later off Turkey, until being assigned to the Asiatic Fleet in 1925. Until 1941, Bulmer alternated between service off China and in the Philippines, and was assigned to patrol, escort, and anti-submarine duties in the South Pacific when the United States entered World War II.
In February 1942, Bulmer operated as a unit of TF 5, Destroyer Squadron 29 in combat off Madoera Strait, and then participated in an Allied effort against Japanese convoys off Sumatra. Bulmer was overhauled in Australia in May and patrolled Australian ports, and then began escort duties between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet in May 1943, Bulmer conducted anti-submarine operations and also served as a convoy escort between northeastern Atlantic ports and North Africa, while also taking part in offensives against German submarines.
Bulmer is believed to have sunk German submarine U-377, and rescued 17 survivors of U-231 in January 1944. From August to October 1944, Bulmer operated in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. She was re-designated AG-86 in December, and then operated in the Panama Canal Zone to help train newly commissioned submarines. Bulmer was assigned to Commander, Air Force, Atlantic Fleet out of Port Everglades, Florida in July 1945, but was decommissioned in August 1946 and sold for scrap in February 1947.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Bulmer (DD-222)
The use of asbestos insulation in the design of naval vessels was mandated by the US Congress in the early 1930s, after a fire at sea on the SS Morro Castle resulted in great loss of life. Bulmer, like most Navy ships of the time, utilized asbestos-containing materials extensively, particularly in ship's boilers and engineering compartments, and in fireproofing throughout the ship. If asbestos insulation is worn or damaged it can become friable, which means that fibers can be broken off and escape into the air, and then are breathed in by ship's crew and repair workers, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma. When asbestos is inhaled or swallowed, tiny fibers become lodged in the mesothelium, a narrow body of cells that surrounds and buffers the body's interior organs, and in time this foreign material can cause malignant mesothelioma.
Because mesothelioma disease usually advances rapidly and is often hard to diagnose, the prognosis in mesothelioma cases is generally not good. Also, as mesothelioma is an uncommon disease, not many facilities and clinicians are equipped to provide high-quality mesothelioma treatment. People diagnosed with mesothelioma disease may want to know more about their legal rights and a good mesothelioma lawyer can be a source for that kind of information.
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Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-222.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd222txt.htm Retrieved 28 December 2010.
NavSource Naval History, USS Bulmer (DD-222).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/222.htm Retrieved 28 December 2010.