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USS Charles Ausburne (DD-570)

The USS Charles Ausburne (DD-570) served in the US Navy for about a half-a-decade in the early 20th century, and was later transferred to West Germany. She was named for Charles Lawrence Ausburne, a naval electrician during World War I. Charles Ausburne was a member of the Fletcher-class of naval destroyers.

Construction

Charles Ausburne was laid down at Orange, Texas by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in May 1941, launched in March 1942, and commissioned in November with Lieutenant Commander L.K. Reynolds in command. Armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, Charles Ausburne carried a crew of 273.

Naval History

Charles Ausburne began her service on a convoy escort mission from New York to Casablanca in April and May 1943, and was then deployed as the flagship of Destroyer Division 45 to New Caledonia in June. During this deployment, Charles Ausburne conducted patrol and escort duties throughout the summer, guarded convoys to Guadalcanal, and engaged Japanese destroyers as they evacuated troops from the Solomon Islands. In September, Charles Ausburne sank two troop barges off Vella Lavella.

Charles Ausburne operated during the invasion of Bougainville in October, firing on enemy installations onshore at Buka and the Shortlands. She managed to sink Japanese destroyer Hatsukaze with Spence at the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in November. Throughout November and December, Charles Ausburne continued patrols and bombardments around Bougainville, as well as anti-aircraft operations, and returned there in January 1944 after an overhaul in Australia.

Charles Ausburne operated during the air strikes on the Palaus Islands with the 5th Fleet, and then sailed with Yorktown as a screen during the Hollandia invasion in April. She also participated in operations on Iwo Jima, Guam, and Saipan, before moving on to the Philippines to screen transports and resist enemy forces. In January 1945, Charles Ausburne resumed escort and patrol services from San Pedro to Lingayen in the Philippines. Following operations at Mindanao and Aguni Shima, Charles Ausburne patrolled off Okinawa until the end of the war.

Charles Ausburne was decommissioned in April 1946. The destroyer was transferred to West Germany in April 1960, renamed Z-6, and sold for scrap in October 1968.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Charles Ausburne (DD-570)

The ships of this time made heavy use of asbestos as a fire retardant and insulator. The Ausburne deployed products containing asbestos in many ship stations, especially the power plant. Crew assigned to engineering, damage control and fire fighting had the highest chance of exposure to hazardous levels of asbestos, but all of the Ausburne's sailors shared some risk.

Asbestos fibers have been conclusively linked with deadly diseases like mesothelioma. Navy veterans are significantly more likely to suffer this and other asbestos diseases than members of the other armed forces and general population. By law, many of those injured by asbestos are entitled to compensation. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer is the best source of information concerning your legal rights.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-570.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd570txt.htm

NavSource Naval History. USS Charles Ausburne (DD-570).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/570.htm

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