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USS Endicott (DD-495)

The USS Endicott (DD-495) was a Gleaves-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy during World War II and also served as a high speed minesweeper in both World War II and the Korean War. She was named for Samuel Endicott, a quarter gunner on board Enterprise during the Barbary Wars.

Construction

Built in Seattle, WA, by the Tacoma-Seattle Shipbuilding Corporation, Endicott was launched in April 1942 and commissioned in February 1943, under the command of Lieutenant Commander W. S. Heald.

Naval History

Initially, Endicott escorted convoys to Africa, Ireland, Panama and Trinidad but as preparations for the European invasion began, she escorted merchantmen and transports. After colliding with a freighter, Endicott steamed to Cardiff, South Wales for repairs. In July 1944, Endicott assisted in the preparations for the attack on southern France (Operation Dragoon) by escorting LST’s and LCI’s to the Mediterranean. Endicott came to the rescue of British gunboats and destroyed two German warships, Nimet Allah and Capriloa. She resumed escort operations off southern France by guiding convoys to Corsica and Salerno. In January 1945, following an overhaul, Endicott sailed to Bermuda and joined Task Group 21.5 and escorted Quincy as she transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt to New York. Endicott arrived at the Charlestown Navy Yard in April for conversion to a high speed minesweeper and was reclassified DMS-35. Deployed to the Pacific, Endicott arrived at San Diego several days after the Japanese surrender. Following another overhaul in 1946, she operated out of San Diego until the Korean War started.

Endicott sailed for Korea in June 1950, spending 6 months escorting ships, providing gunfire support to United Nation troops, and assisting minesweeping forces. Endicott participated in Action of 12 October 1950 in which two American minesweepers were sunk. In 1951, Endicott underwent an overhaul in San Diego. By October she resumed her second tour and continued gunfire support and patrolled the coast. For the majority of 1952, Endicott joined the Songjin Patrol, although the last 4 months were allocated to overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, CA. Again, Endicott spent the first half of 1953 patrolling and providing gun support for minesweepers operating in Korean waters. After repairs at Long Beach, she remained in local waters until August 1954, when she was decommissioned and placed in reserve at San Diego. In July 1955, Endicott was reclassified DD-495. Stricken from the Navy List in 1969, in October 1970 she was sold for scrap.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Endicott (DD-495)

In the 1930s, asbestos insulation started to be used in the construction of ships like the USS Endicott as a result of new laws regarding fire safety. Over time researchers realized that asbestos-containing material was toxic, and restrictions for its use were put into place in the late 1970s. Nearly every area aboard Endicott presented some level of potential asbestos exposure to those who occupied them.

In some areas, however, the risk of exposure was much greater. Because asbestos mineral is such an excellent insulating material, it was wrapped around the steam pipes that ran throughout the ship and was also used to insulate the boilers and pump equipment. Certain occupations on board the ship also had a greater risk of exposure to what is known today as a cancerous substance: sailors serving in the engine room, as machinists, dealing with fire, or in damage control crews were considerably more likely to be exposed to asbestos.

Inhaled asbestos dust damages the mesothelium which can cause pleural mesothelioma. Those serving on board the USS Endicott may, today, be at risk of developing mesothelioma as a result of the asbestos exposure they experienced years ago. There is legal recourse available to those who have been injured in this manner. Please fill out the form on this page to learn more.

Sources

Sources

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
(http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/e3/endicott.htm) Retrieved 19 January 2011

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