The USS Ellis (DD-154) served in the US Navy for over two-and-a-half decades in the early 20th century, and received one battle star for her service in World War II. She was named for George Henry Ellis, who served in the US Navy during the Spanish-American War and in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. Ellis was built as a Wickes-class ship.
Ellis was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company in July 1918, launched in November, and commissioned in June 1919 with Lieutenant Commander T.E. Van Metre in command. Carrying a crew of 103, Ellis was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Ellis carried Food Administration officials for famine relief in June to August 1919. During this deployment, Ellis also transported American and British officers between Turkey, Bulgaria, and Russia. Ellis was assigned to test torpedoes off of Newport, Rhode Island, and was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard from June 1922 to May 1930. When reactivated, Ellis served with the Scouting Fleet, and in April 1933, conducted a search for and located the wreckage of Akron off of New Jersey. She escorted the Presidential yacht of President F.D. Roosevelt from New England to Nova Scotia, Canada, and escorted USS Indianapolis, then carrying the President, to Annapolis, Maryland.
Ellis conducted training operations in Alaska and Hawaii in 1934, and was out of commission at Philadelphia from December 1936 until October 1939. She was then assigned to patrol the east coast for submarines, and then escorted transports for Marines to Iceland. In 1942, Ellis also operated in the Virgin Islands and served convoy duty between Trinidad and Brazil before being assigned to trans-Atlantic convoy duty in March 1943.
Ellis conducted escort duty for two oil tanker convoys from March to June 1943, and escorted carriers to Ireland and Africa from August to November. She escorted SS Abraham Lincoln in January 1944, and while conducting patrols in the Azores, rescued two British pilots. Ellis returned to convoy duty in Africa and voyaged to Casablanca, Algiers, and Bizerte, where she aided in shooting down three bombers that attacked in May.
Ellis served as a guard for carriers that trained pilots, conducted experimental torpedo exercises, and performed escort operations to Brazil, until being decommissioned in October 1945, at Norfolk, Virginia. She was stricken in November and sold for scrap in July 1947.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Ellis (DD-154)
The use of asbestos in the construction of marine vessels was ordered by Congress in the 1930s, after a deadly fire aboard the SS Morro Castle killed 137 people. Vessels like Ellis made use of asbestos extensively around boilers and engineering compartments, as well as in fireproofing in the other sections of the vessel. After asbestos gets into the body, tiny fibers migrate to the mesothelial layer, a paper-thin layer of cells that surrounds and protects the body's lungs, heart, and stomach, and eventually inflammation from the fibers may cause mesothelioma.
Tragically, the prognosis in mesothelioma cases is not usually optimistic - most mesothelioma disease victims have a life expectancy of less than two years after they are diagnosed. Those who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may need legal information and a well-established mesothelioma lawyer can be a useful resource.
We've also compiled a mesothelioma information packet with up-to-date information on legal options and treatment choices, and a list of clinical trials in the United States. Just complete the form on this page and we'll send you a free package.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-154. (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd154txt.htm) Retrieved 24 December 2010.<\p>
NavSource Naval History, USS Ellis (DD-154).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/154.htm) Retrieved 24 December 2010.