The USS Conway (DD/DDE-507) was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy and the second ship named in honor of William Conway (1802-1865).
Built in Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works in 1941, she was launched in August 1942, and commissioned in October under the command of Commander N. S. Prime.
In January 1943, Conway arrived in the Pacific where she intercepted Japanese ships evacuating troops from Guadalcanal. She fought off enemy air attacks during the Battle of Rennell Island and splashed several enemy planes. Conway escorted supply ships, fueling units, supported the Rendova landings, the bombardments of Kolombangara and Munda, participated in the Vella Lavella operation, and conducted night raids on Japanese shipping. After an overhaul in the Fiji Islands and Sydney, Australia, she returned to duty, participating in the landings at Treasury Islands, Choiseul and at Bougainville.
In 1944, Conway assisted in the landings on Green Island and the shelling of enemy positions on New Britain and New Ireland at Papua New Guinea. By night she raided enemy shipping. Together, with the 5th Fleet, she sailed to Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein and assisted in the Saipan operation. During the Solomon Islands campaign, Conway participated in the assaults at Guam and Tinian. Following an overhaul in San Francisco, she joined the 7th Fleet and patrolled the Leyte Gulf and the Camotes Sea where she shelled Plompon.
In 1945, Conway assisted in the assault and landings on Lingayen, Corregidor, and Parang in the Philippines. Conway participated in the bombardment at Balikpapan and protected an underwater demolition team as it set the stage for the actual landings on the beach.
Conway was decommissioned in June 1946, at Charleston, South Carolina. In 1950, she was recommissioned and converted to an escort destroyer (DDE-507) to serve in the Korean War. With Task Force 77, Conway shelled Kolgochi, Hodo Pando, Hungnam, and Wonsan while fulfilling her duties as an escort. Rebased to Norfolk, Virginia, Conway carried out operations throughout the Mediterranean. In June 1962, Conway was redesignated a destroyer (DD-507). Conway was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 15 November 1969. In June 1970, she was sunk as a target.
Conway was awarded 13 battle stars for her World War II service and two for Korean War service.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Conway (DD-507)
The U.S. Navy used asbestos as an insulator and to fireproof compartments aboard its vessels until the late 1970s. The USS Conway contained asbestos materials throughout the vessel, with the highest concentration of asbestos products being in and around the power plant, boilers, and pipes. Asbestos is never safe, but asbestos materials that are damaged are even more dangerous because they become friable. Individual fibers of asbestos in the material become separated and may be inhaled or ingested. Such exposure is linked to a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
This means that the sailors stationed in the engineering compartments and those assigned to damage control face the greatest risk to their health. However, no veteran of the Conway was safe from some exposure. Navy personnel injured by asbestos exposure during their service can often obtain compensation for their injury. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can explain your legal rights.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.