USS Gridley (DD-380) was the lead ship of the Gridley-class. She was one of four naval vessels named in honor of Charles Vernon Gridley, an officer in the US Navy during the Spanish-American and Civil wars known best today for his participation in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898.
Gridley was fitted out at Boston Navy Yard in 1936 at the Fore River shipyard and constructed by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation. She was sponsored by Mrs. Lewis Buddy III, the daughter of Captain Gridley, and was commissioned in June 1937 under the command of Commander Leroy W. Busbey, Jr.
Following a shakedown cruise, Gridley visited Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela before undergoing alterations at the Boston Navy Yard. She then joined Destroyer Division 11, after which she participated in tactical maneuvers off the California coast. After sailing into San Diego on July 13, 1939, Gridley became the flagship for Division 11.
On the morning of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Gridley was approaching the base when her crew learned of the Japanese attack. Gridley waited until the following day to enter the harbor. She then provided protection against further attacks before providing escort to repair vessels and transports over the next five months.
Gridley met with the Saratoga task force on September 25, 1942. Together, the ships provided escort missions for a variety of non-combatant and combatant ships. After shifting her base of operations to Purvis Bay, she rescued survivors from Helena in Parasco Bay on July 16, 1943. Gridley then teamed with destroyer Maury and provided escort for a number of different vessels.
On July 25, 1943, Gridley assisted six other destroyers with destroying Japanese landing barges in Vella Gulf. Following repairs in San Diego and a brief visit to the Gilbert Islands, she assisted with the bombardment of Makin Island. In January the following year, Gridley played a critical role in the strikes against Wotje and Eniwetok. On June 7, she participated in the invasion of the Marianas.
On June 19 and 20, 1944, Gridley played an essential role in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, protecting aircraft carriers against enemy aircraft. On June 30, 1944, Gridley assisted with the strikes on Guam, Iwo Jima, Ulithi, Yap and the Volcano Islands.
On November 1945, Gridley assisted with the Leyte operation. On February 10, she joined a group of escort carriers as she assisted with Lingayen Gulf landings. She later escorted battleship Mississippi to Pearl Harbor before heading back to New York. Gridley was ultimately sold for scrap in August of 1947. She earned 10 battle stars for her service during World War II.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Gridley (DD-380)
The use of asbestos-containing materials in the construction of marine vessels was required by Congress in the 1930s, after a fire at sea on a cruise ship killed 137 people. Ships like Gridley made use of asbestos frequently in ship's boilers and engine spaces, and to insulate steam pipes in all sections of the ship. The mineral asbestos was known even in ancient times for its fireproofing properties; however, it was also proven to be the main factor in the development of debilitating diseases including asbestos cancer and mesothelioma.
Even with modern medical help, the survival rate of mesothelioma patients is extremely low - but palliative treatments including mesothelioma chemotherapy provide some hope and may lengthen survival time. Those who have been diagnosed with the disease may be interested in obtaining more information about mesothelioma as well as their legal rights. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer is a good resource for that kind of information.
Additional information can also be found in our mesothelioma information kit. It comes complete with legal options, choices for medical treatment and a list of clinical trials all over the U.S. Simply submit the form on this page and we'll mail you the free package.Sources
Gridley. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/g8/gridley-ii.htm Retrieved 1 January 2011.