The USS Eversole (DD-789) served in the U.S. Navy for over two and a half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Lieutenant John Thomas Eversole who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at the Battle of Midway in World War II. Eversole was commissioned as a Gearing-class naval vessel.
Eversole was laid down at Seattle, Washington by the Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation in February 1945, launched in January 1946, and commissioned in May with Commander B. P. Ross in command. Supporting a crew complement of 336, Eversole was 390 feet, six inches long and armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns. She had a cruising speed of 36.8 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 20 knots.
Eversole reported for duty at San Diego in October 1946. The destroyer sailed to the Far East on two occasions for patrol duty off China and Japan. While on a similar tour in 1950, Eversole began screening aircraft carriers during strikes on North Korea, and returned to San Diego in February 1951. Eversole then served a second tour of duty from August 1951 to April 1952, during which she helped bombard coastal areas such as Hungnam and Wonsan, and also joined the Blockading and Escort Force. Similar duties were performed during her third tour of Korea from November 1952 to June 1953.
Eversole routinely deployed to the Far East on annual voyages from 1954 through 1962, during which she served on the Taiwan Patrol as well as fleet exercises off Japan, the Philippines, and Okinawa. The destroyer passed through Australia in 1957 and 1958 while serving with the 7th Fleet. Eversole alternated these deployments with operations on the west coast, ports in the Pacific Northwest, and the Hawaiian Islands. For her Korean War service, Eversole was awarded seven battle stars.
Eversole completed an FRAM upgrade in 1963 and remained in service until being decommissioned in July 1973. Struck from the Navy list in September, Eversole was then transferred to Turkey, renamed Gayret, and served with the Turkish Navy until 1995. The former Eversole was then designated as a museum at Izmit, Turkey.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Eversole (DD-789)
The new industrial technologies that emerged in the period of the industrial revolution brought about an increased demand for new products like asbestos insulation. Starting in the 1930s, asbestos was used on board seagoing vessels like Eversole because of new safety regulations. Asbestos has several properties which made it seemingly ideal for use in ships. Because asbestos fiber acts as such an efficient insulation, it could be found wrapped around the steam pipes and was also heavily deployed around boilers and engines.
No matter what jobs were performed by a crewman, service aboard a Navy vessel most likely resulted in some level of asbestos exposure. Certain jobs suffered from a higher degree of asbestos exposure, however; mechanics working in the engine room and those handling machinery or dealing with fire suppression or battle damage were more likely to inhale or ingest asbestos fibers. Asbestos insulation which becomes worn or damaged can become dislodged into the air making it easy for those in the area to breathe it in.
Researchers have found a positive relationship between breathing asbestos fibers and the development of mesothelioma. Individuals who worked regularly with asbestos fibers over a long period of time have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma than crewmen who didn’t.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-789.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd789txt.htm) Retrieved 16 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. Eversole (DD-789).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/789.htm) Retrieved 16 February 2011.