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USS Flusser (DD-20)

USS Flusser (DD-20)

The USS Flusser (DD-20) served in the US Navy from 1909-1920. She was the second ship named for Lieutenant Commander Charles Williamson Flusser, who was killed in action during the Civil War. Powered by four boilers and three Parsons turbines that were capable of producing 10,362 horsepower. Flusser was one of five Smith-class destroyers built by the U.S. Navy.


The 700-ton Flusser was built in Bath, Maine, by the Bath Iron Works and was launched in 1909. She was sponsored by Miss Genevieve Virden, the grand-niece of Lieutenant Commander Flusser, and commissioned in October with Lieutenant Commander J.P. Morton in command. Flusser was 293 feet, 10 inches in length, carried a crew of 89, and was armed with three-inch guns, depth charge racks, and three 18-inch torpedo tubes.

Naval History

Flusser was based in Charleston, South Carolina and was assigned to the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet in December 1909. She spent the next seven years cruising the Caribbean to the coast of New England until August 1916, when she was assigned to neutrality patrols in the waters off New York and in Long Island Sound.

In early 1917, Flusser underwent repairs at New Orleans, Louisiana, and performed escort duty on the east coast of the United States until July, when she was assigned to escort and patrol duty on Ponta Delgada, Azores. Her duties were similar when transferred to Brest, France, where Flusser operated across the English Channel starting in October, and continued this service until December 1918.

Flusser returned to Charleston by the end of December. In July 1919, she was decommissioned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was stricken from the Navy list in September 1919. Flusser was sold in November before being disassembled and used as scrap.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Flusser (DD-20)

The Flusser made heavy use of asbestos insulation around engines and engineering spaces, as fireproofing in her mess, and to insulate steam pipes all over the vessel. Such materials were employed because they were inexpensive, durable, and worked well. Unfortunately, they later proved to be the cause of such serious diseases as mesothelioma. Sailors aboard the Flusser and other ships of this era faced a significantly higher risk of exposure to these dangerous asbestos fibers than servicemen from the other armed forces.

Veterans and shipwrights injured by the asbestos on Navy ships may have the legal right to compensation for their illness. A well-established mesothelioma lawyer can advise you on your best course of action. For more information on the disease and what to expect both medically and legally, please complete the form on this page. We'll send you our free mesothelioma information packet right away.



Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 15 December 2010 USS Flusser (DD-20). Retrieved 15 December 2010

NavSource Naval History. USS Flusser (DD-20). Retrieved 15 December 2010

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


January 11, 2017
Jillian McKee

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