The USS Chauncey (DD-667) was commissioned by the U.S. Navy for over a decade in the mid-20th century. She was named for Commodore Isaac Chauncey who served in the Quasi-War with France and the War of 1812. Chauncey was a member of the Fletcher class of destroyers.
Chauncey was laid down at Kearny, New Jersey by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in November 1942, launched in March 1943, and commissioned in May with Lieutenant Commander M. Van Metre in command. Supporting a crew complement of 273, Chauncey was armed with four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Chauncey, in port at Pearl Harbor by mid-September, was assigned to screening duty for the aircraft carrier force operating at Wake Island in October. During this deployment, Chauncey rescued downed pilots, and was then deployed from Espiritu Santo in November for combat off Rabaul and Bougainville. Chauncey guarded the carriers during the strikes on Tarawa and then at Kwajalein and Wotje in the Marshall Islands.
Chauncey protected the fleet and conducted patrols off Majuro and Kwajalein into January 1944, as well as off Emirau Island, and served during the invasion of Aitape in April. She screened aircraft carriers en route to Saipan in June and then during airstrikes and bombardments at Guam, and continued bombardment duties off Guam until the invasion in late July.
Chauncey delivered troops to Eniwetok in August, was repaired at Pearl Harbor, and then sailed to Leyte, Philippines in October as a guard for the Southern Attack Force transports. She protected troops during the landings, and served as an escort to Manus during the Battle for Leyte Gulf. Following overhaul on the west coast until February 1945, Chauncey participated in the Okinawa operation and remained on bombardment and radar picket duty until the end of May.
Chauncey served occupation duty until mid-November and was decommissioned at San Diego from December 1945 until July 1950, operated in the Atlantic until January 1953, and then served off Korea as part of a round-the-world cruise. She returned to the east coast in August, and operated along the east coast and in the Caribbean until being decommissioned in May 1954. Chauncey was struck from the Navy list in October 1972 and sold for scrap to Southern Scrap Metal Corporation in January 1974.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Chauncey (DD-667)
Since materials containing asbestos were installed in so many places, practically the entire crew of Chauncey risked exposure at some point during the course of their career. Some positions had a greater chance of exposure such as mechanics, plumbers, and gunners, but nearly every area on board the USS Chauncey was contaminated with asbestos containing products. Mesothelioma, a form of asbestos cancer is primarily causes by asbestos exposure.
Shipyard workers were also at risk of being exposed to asbestos as were their families because they would wear asbestos contaminated clothing home at the end of the workday.
Veterans who have contracted mesothelioma cancer may be able to receive compensation for their injury. Please fill out the form on this page to request information to help you learn more.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-667.
NavSource Naval History. USS Chauncey (DD-667).