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USS Eaton (DD-510/DDE-510)

The USS Eaton (DD-510/DDE-510) was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy named in honor of William Eaton (1764-1811).

Construction

Built in Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works, she was launched in September 1942, and commissioned in December under the command of Lieutenant Commander E. L. Beck.

Naval History

Eaton arrived in the Pacific during March 1943, and escorted convoys to Guadalcanal from Espiritu and Nouméa. She provided support for the troops landing at Rendova, Vella Lavella, and Baracoma. Eaton served as flagship for the landings on Treasury Island and operated in the Bouganville Straits. She spent the remainder of the year escorting convoys, and shelling enemy positions throughout the Solomons.

In 1944, Eaton participated in the landings on Green Island and Emirau Island before sailing to the Marshalls where she joined forces and bombarded Kusaie Island. In June, she provided gunfire support during the invasion of Saipan and Tinian. After an overhaul at Mare Island, California, she joined forces operating in the Leyte Gulf.

In January 1945, Eaton destroyed a Japanese suicide boat as it closed in but the explosion killed 1 man and wounded 14 of her men. She provided support in the landings at Mindoro, Panay, and Mindanao before steaming to Subic Bay to provide gunfire support for the Australians landing on Borneo. Eaton provided valuable aid in the assault at an oil storage area on Balikpapan. After the hostilities ended, she patrolled the Chinese coast and escorted the French Indochina convoy to Manchuria.

Eaton was placed out of commission in reserve in June 1946, at Charleston, SC. Reclassified DDE-510 and then recommissioned in December 1951, at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Eaton joined Escort Division 22 in May of 1952 and operated in the Atlantic serving ports in Europe, the Caribbean, and Nova Scotia. In 1954, Eaton fulfilled her service to NATO and embarked on a good will tour to Europe. Eaton participated in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In 1967–68 Eaton provided gunfire support along the Vietnamese coast.

Eaton was decommissioned in 1969, and sunk as a target off the coast of Norfolk, VA.She received 11 battle stars for World War II service.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Eaton (DD-510)

Naval vessels constructed before 1979 used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in practically every compartment. Some areas of the ship used more asbestos than others: the engineering and boiler areas on Eaton installed asbestos extensively to insulate pipes, to line boilers, and to protect components of the ship's engines or steam turbines. Asbestos fiber was in common use throughout the vessel because of its versatility and fire- and heat-resistance. It was used in seals, interior paint, and even paste.

An exposed individual's risk from asbestos rises significantly if he or she worked frequently with frayed or damaged asbestos products. Such products become friable, meaning the individual fibers are separated from the ACM. When breathed in, asbestos fibers can lodge in the mesothelium, a thin protective layer of cells that surrounds internal organs. These fibers can cause significant scarring and eventually, mesothelioma.

Sources

Sources

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/e1/eaton.htm

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