The USS Charles F. Adams (DD-952) remained on the Navy list for three-and-a-half decades in the mid-to-late-20th century. She was named for Charles Francis Adams, a Harvard Law School graduate who served as Secretary of the Navy and at the London Naval Conference in 1930. Charles F. Adams was the flagship vessel of the Charles F. Adams class of destroyers.
Charles F. Adams was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in June 1958, launched in September 1959, and commissioned in September 1960 with Commander William R. Munroe, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 333 to 350, Charles F. Adams was armed with two five-inch rapid fire guns, a surface-to-air missile system, an anti-submarine rocket launcher, and six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes.
Guided missile destroyer Charles F. Adams was the first US Navy ship designed specifically to launch anti-aircraft missiles. Designated DDG-2 prior to launch, Charles F. Adams operated on the east coast through 1960. The destroyer embarked on a goodwill cruise of northern Europe in 1961, during which she served as the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 6. Charles F. Adams then served with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean in the spring of 1962, and returned to Charleston, South Carolina in mid-1962.
Charles F. Adams operated during the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Blockade and was also the flagship for Cold War surveillance operations for Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic. Charles F. Adams was upgraded by the mid-1970s to handle new air and missile threats. The destroyer and others in her class received improved electronic warfare systems, an MK86 gun fire control system, 3D radar, fire control radars, and a Naval Tactical Data System. Charles F. Adams was also fit with a system to launch anti-ship missiles.
In the late-1970s, Charles F. Adams conducted patrols off Lebanon, Libya, and the Persian Gulf. Charles F. Adams was decommissioned in August 1990 and struck from the Navy list in November 1992. The destroyer was then berthed at Philadelphia and was the subject of an effort to bring her to Bay City, Michigan in 1997. This effort was abandoned in 2003, but the Adams Class Veterans Association, formed in 2004, was then tasked with working to make Charles F. Adams a naval ship museum.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Charles F. Adams (DD-952)
Adams-class vessels used asbestos products as fireproofing and insulation. Asbestos is highly heat and fire resistant, making it an ideal choice for these applications. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that asbestos fibers pose a significant health risk to anyone that inhales or ingests them. The Charles F. Adams was built before the dangers were fully realized, and as a result, many of her sailors were likely exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos.
The most serious asbestos illness is mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the thin lining that buffers your internal organs. Navy sailors are amongst those most frequently diagnosed with asbestos injuries. This is because the close quarters of a ship and the abundance of asbestos needed to properly insulate and fireproof a vessel combine to make it a particularly great exposure risk.
Navy veterans suffering from mesothelioma may have the right to compensation for their injury. Such money can help defray the high cost of treatment and provide financial security for your family. An expert mesothelioma lawyer can provide you valuable information about your legal options.Sources
History of USS Mullinnix DD-944. USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2.
NavSource Naval History. USS Charles F. Adams (DD-951).
Adams Class Veterans Association, Inc. ACVA History.