The USS Furse (DD-882) served in the U.S. Navy for over two and a half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Lieutenant John Houseal Furse, a naval officer who served on the Asiatic Station and died on board Illinois during a storm off Cuba. Furse was laid down as a Gearing-class naval destroyer.
Furse was laid down at Orange, Texas by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in September 1944, launched in March 1945, and commissioned in July with Commander David A. Harris in command. Carrying a crew of 336, Furse was 390 feet, six inches in length and armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns.
Furse arrived at Tokyo Bay in December 1945 to begin service during the occupation. During this deployment, the destroyer performed courier duties from Nagoya to Wakayama and participated in training operations in the Kobe area. Furse then returned to Pearl Harbor before sailing for the Marshall Islands in the summer of 1946 for atomic weapons tests, during which she served as a plane guard.
Furse began operating out of San Diego in August 1946, conducted local training operations, and served another tour of the Far East. She was then transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in April 1949 and sailed with the 6th Fleet to Mediterranean waters in September. From September to December 1950, Furse served another 6th Fleet tour and was present during the funeral of Sweden’s King Gustav V. In January 1951, Furse was assigned to Norfolk, Virginia as her home port.
Furse was regularly assigned to the Operational Development Force beginning in 1952, with which techniques in anti-submarine warfare were practiced. A summer 1952 cruise to northern Europe involved midshipman training, while in 1956, Furse assisted evacuation efforts for Americans in Egypt and Israel during the Suez Crisis. Furse also conducted patrols of the eastern Mediterranean during this time, and was deployed twice to the region in 1957.
Furse visited Spain, Norway, and Belgium in the summer of 1958 for NATO exercises. The destroyer received fleet modernization upgrades in 1963 and remained in commission until August 1972. Furse was then loaned to Spain, renamed Gravina, and sold to Spain in May 1978. The former Furse was used for scrap there in 1991.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Furse (DD-882)
Asbestos was deployed in large quantities in certain sections of Furse, particularly the engineering and mechanical areas of the ship. Sailors working in those sections had the greatest and most dangerous exposure. All veterans of the Furse had some risk from the mineral, though, as asbestos covered steam pipes ran the length and breadth of the vessel.
When ingested, microscopic asbestos fibers can eventually result in mesothelioma. As it has been clearly shown that the use of asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases and potential death, means of legal recourse are often available to those with asbestos-related ailments. A mesothelioma lawyer can review your case and explain your legal rights.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-882.
NavSource Naval History. Furse (DD-882).