The USS Eberle (DD-430) served in the U.S. Navy for a little over a decade in the mid-20th century, and then was transferred to Greece. She was named for Admiral Edward Walter Eberle who was Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy and then Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. Eberle was laid down as a Gleaves-class vessel.
Eberle was laid down at Bath, Maine by Bath Iron Works in April 1939, launched in September 1940, and commissioned in December with Lieutenant Commander E.R. Gardner, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 208, Eberle was armed with four five-inch anti-aircraft guns, six one-half inch machine guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was powered by General Electric turbines supporting a cruising speed of 35 knots.
Eberle conducted patrols off Bermuda following training until August 1941, and then escorted convoys to Newfoundland and Iceland. In August 1942, Eberle escorted tankers during two convoy missions, and deployed from Norfolk, Virginia in October to North Africa. During this deployment, Eberle participated in the invasion of French Morocco in November, and then returned to Norfolk before being assigned to patrol duty out of Racife, Brazil. When she intercepted the German vessel Karin, the Germans set off explosives, killing half the boarding party. The rest of the party continued their mission and 72 prisoners were taken aboard by Eberle.
Eberle was assigned escort duty around North African ports following an overhaul at Charleston, South Carolina, and also served off Algeria and Italy. In April, Eberle managed to break up an attack by German vessels, and then continued patrol and escort duties in the region. She served during the invasion of southern France and bombarded Ile de Porquerolles in August 1944.
In November, Eberle sailed to New York, and then escorted a convoy to Algeria in April 1945. Eberle then sailed from New York to Pearl Harbor to serve plane guard duty, and in November was deployed to Alaskan waters. After returning to Pearl Harbor, Eberle sailed to Charleston in January 1946 and was placed in reserve in June. Eberle was re-commissioned to transport naval reservists to Canada, the Caribbean, and Bermuda from January 1947 to May 1950. In January 1951, Eberle was decommissioned at Boston and transferred to Greece under the name Niki. Eberle was taken apart for scrap in 1972.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Eberle (DD-430)
No matter what the assignment, service on a Navy vessel of this era meant exposure to asbestos to at least some degree. Crewmen working with engines and boilers had a greater degree of exposure, as were crew members serving in damage control parties. Because asbestos was used in hundreds of applications, the toxic fibers could be found almost everywhere on Eberle.
Abundant quantities of asbestos containing materials could also be found in Navy dockyards. Crewmen, shipbuilders, and dockworkers were exposed to it there. These workers often caused secondhand exposure for their families at home, as tiny asbestos fibers can easily cling to work clothes and uniforms.
Medicine has proven a credible link between inhalation of asbestos fibers and a diagnosis of mesothelioma. This link means that those that suffer from this or other asbestos related ailments often have legal options. An asbestos lawyer can review your case and explain your legal rights.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-430.
NavSource Naval History, USS Eberle (DD-430).