The USS Flusser (DD-368) served in the U.S. Navy for more than a decade during the first half of the 20th century. She was named for Charles Williamson Flusser, who served with the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. Flusser was built as a Mahan-class ship.
Flusser was laid down in Kearny, New Jersey by Federal Shipbuilding in June of 1934. She was launched in September of 1935 and commissioned in October of 1936, with Commander F.L. Lowe at the helm. Flusser carried a crew of 158 and had a cruising speed of 36.5 knots. She was armed with five five-inch anti-aircraft guns, four half-inch machine guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Flusser spent her shakedown cruise in the Western Mediterranean. She then returned to the east coast of the United States before heading to San Diego.
Flusser was based at Pearl Harbor, but she was not in harbor during the Japanese attack in 1941. She thus spent the days after the attack hunting the Japanese fleet.
After a late 1942 overhaul, Flusser resumed escort duties in a wide variety of South Pacific locales. In 1943, she participated in landings at Lae and Finschhafen, assisting in the bombardment and providing fire support. In September, she sank three Japanese barges at Finschhafen.
At the start of 1944, Flusser was again overhauled. She then returned to Australia and surrounds for convoy duties (including escorting a convoy to Eniwetok in August of that year). On September 7, 1944, Flusser was involved in an engagement with a shore battery. Nine of her crew were wounded. In November, Flusser was responsible for downing a kamikaze plane. The aircraft crashed so close to the ship that the pilot parachuted onto Flusser’s forecastle.
In December of 1944, Flusser was damaged by a Japanese suicide plane and subjected to an air attack. The ship avoided serious damage and assisted by rescuing survivors of nearby downed ships and successfully shooting down at least one kamikaze plane.
In 1945, Flusser operated in the Philippines and surrounds. In 1946, Flusser was involved in the atomic weapons test “Crossroads.” After receiving eight battle stars for service in World War II, Flusser was decommissioned in December of 1946. She was later sold and broken up for scrap.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Flusser (DD-368)
No matter what job a sailor had, serving aboard Flusser meant asbestos exposure at some level. Likewise, pipefitters, shipwrights, and insulation installers working in Flusser’s yards were potentially exposed to her asbestos-containing materials. Legal recourse is available for most everyone injured by the asbestos installed on U.S. Navy ships. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your legal options.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-368.
NavSource Naval History, USS Flusser (DD-368).