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USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)

The USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades during the middle of the 20th century. She was named for Charles Howard Roan, a U.S. Navy officer who was killed during World War II when he threw himself on a grenade to protect his men. Charles H. Roan was built as a Gearing-class destroyer.


Charles H. Roan was laid down in Quincy, Massachusetts by Bethlehem Steel in September 1945. She was launched in March 1946 and commissioned in September 1946, with Commander R.B. Derickson at the helm. Charles H. Roan carried a crew of 336 and had a cruising speed of 36.8 knots. She was armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Naval History

Following a standard training and shakedown period, Charles H. Roan began her service in the Mediterranean in February 1948. During this deployment, she also assisted briefly in the Persian Gulf when tensions erupted in that region. Another Mediterranean tour followed in 1949 before the ship was temporarily pulled from active duty for alterations to her armament.

In 1953, Charles H. Roan spent time delivering sailors to ports in South America, and in 1954, she began her first around-the-world voyage. Following her circumnavigation of the globe, the vessel spent 1955 returning once again to the Mediterranean. She also served picket duty near Iceland to support President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s flight to Geneva later that year.

Charles H. Roan was in the Mediterranean during the fall of 1956 when the Suez crisis erupted. She was quickly pulled into service in that region and remained in the Middle East until the spring of 1957. The years that followed included cruises to European ports, support for the NATO operation Strikeback, and assistance during operations in Lebanon. In 1962, the ship received a fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) upgrade.

Charles H. Roan was eventually decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list in 1973. She was later sold to Turkey, where she was renamed Maresal Fevzi Cakmak. The ship was sold and broken apart for scrap in 1995.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853)

Manufacturers started using asbestos in the late 19th century because it was very convenient for construction and manufacturing applications. Asbestos-containing material has been installed in the construction of warships like Charles H. Roan since the 1930s. The U.S. Navy installed asbestos widely until around 1979 as a heat and electrical insulator and to fireproof compartments on board all vessels, exposing crew and dockyard workers to a high risk of asbestos exposure. Breathing and ingesting individual asbestos fibers can eventually lead to the development of mesothelioma.

As exposure to asbestos fibers is currently the only known source of malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related conditions, there are legal options for patients who have contracted asbestos-related conditions. Our experts have put together a comprehensive mesothelioma information packet to assist you in understanding more about these options. Just complete the information form on this page and we will send you a kit, at no cost or obligation.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari


Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-853.

NavSource Naval History, USS Charles H. Roan (DD-853).