The USS Frank Knox (DD-742) served in the U.S. Navy for over two and a half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for William Franklin Knox who served in the Spanish-American War, World War I, and as Secretary of the Navy under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Frank Knox was commissioned as a Gearing-class destroyer.
Frank Knox was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in May 1944, launched in September, and commissioned in December with Commander J. C. Ford, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 336, Frank Knox was 376 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.
Frank Knox trained on both coasts of the United States and joined in the raids on the Japanese home islands, out of San Pedro Bay, Philippines, in June 1945. In September, Frank Knox was at Tokyo Bay during the surrender ceremonies, and continued serving there on occupation duty. Frank Knox arrived at San Diego in January 1946, served on tours of the Far East in 1947 and 1948, and was deployed with the 7th Fleet for the Korean War in July 1950. During this deployment, Frank Knox participated in the Inchon invasion, shore bombardments, and patrols.
Frank Knox returned to San Diego in April 1951 and served in the Hawaiian Islands and the west coast until April 1952, when she was deployed during the Korean War once again. The destroyer provided fire support for minesweepers in addition to similar duties to the first deployment, and resumed patrols in the area for her next Far East deployment in 1953. Frank Knox also transported former Chinese prisoners of war to Taiwan following the Korean armistice.
In 1955, Frank Knox returned to the western Pacific to help evacuate the Tachen Islands, and then conducted annual deployments to the region through 1962. Frank Knox sailed to ports in Australia and New Zealand on several occasions. The destroyer received an FRAM upgrade in 1961, and remained in commissioned status until late-January 1971. In 1973, Frank Knox was sold to Greece as Themistocles, was struck by the Greek Navy in 1992, and sunk as a training target in September 2001.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Frank Knox (DD-742)
Essentially every section on board the USS Frank Knox contained some amount of asbestos containing product. This material could be found in greater quantities in certain areas of Frank Knox, however. Because asbestos is such a good insulator, it was used to protect steam pipes as well as equipment in the engine room. Asbestos fiber was commonly used throughout the vessel because it was so versatile; it could be found in putty, paint, and even glues.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber, specifically friable asbestos, increases a person's risk of being afflicted with a cancer called mesothelioma. When asbestos-containing material becomes worn or frayed, the individual asbestos fibers become "friable". This means that tiny asbestos fibers in the material can become loose making it easy for those in the area to breathe it in. Over time, asbestos fibers that become lodged in the lining of the lungs can develop into mesothelioma cancer.
Since being exposed to asbestos is the primary known cause for mesothelioma and asbestosis, there may legal options available to victims of the disease. To help mesothelioma sufferers understand their options we offer a free information kit. Please take a moment to complete the form on this page and we will mail you a kit at no cost or obligation.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-742.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd742txt.htm) Retrieved 12 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. USS Frank Knox (DD-742).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/742.htm) Retrieved 12 February 2011.