The USS Guest (DD-472) was named for Commodore John Guest, a nineteenth century commandant of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Navy Yard.
Guest was launched on February 20, 1942 by the Boston Naval Shipyard, with Commander Henry Crommelin at her helm. She had two stacks, a top cruising speed of 36 knots, and a range of 9600 nautical miles. She carried a complement of 34 officers and 295 enlisted.
Guest patrolled the Caribbean and escorted a convoy to Casablanca from New York City before arriving in Hawaii in July 1942 for a short training session. Joining the 3rd Fleet in August, Guest completed an offensive sweep of the Santa Cruz Islands, shot down two bombers on November 1 during the invasion of Bougainville, and silenced artillery at Mokupene Point. She also escorted missions to Noumea, New Calendonia, and protected troop and logistics convoys from Guadalcanal to Cape Torokina by twice driving off attacking bombers and torpedo planes.
Guest bombarded Saba River in late January, 1944. Less than a week later, she assisted Hudson with the sinking of the Japanese submarine I-171 off of Green Island. She rescued the crew of PT-63 on March 17, but also unfortunately accidentally sunk the PT-283 on the same date in the Solomons. On April 30, Guest finished off the grounded Japanese freighter Meisyo Maru east of Nemto Island. She bombarded Kavieng, New Ireland and the Sanba River area before heading off to the Marianas.
Guest bombarded Saipan ahead of the troop landings in June, and helped repel four massive air raids against the Fast Carrier Task Force during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She bombarded Guam and the Palau Islands before rescuing 52 men from the stricken Perry on September 13, 1944. She then headed to San Francisco for overhaul.
Guest returned to take part in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. She bombarded both islands and even sustained a kamikaze hit off of Okinawa on May 25, 1945. The plane damaged her stack after hitting her mast but she stayed on antiaircraft defense.
Guest was decommissioned in San Diego on June 4, 1946. Almost 13 years later, she was transferred to the Brazilian Navy, where she was rechristened the Para. She was stricken and scrapped by the Brazilians in 1979.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Guest (DD-472)
The destroyers of World War II were heavily contaminated with asbestos. Nearly every compartment and corridor contained the mineral, often in asbestos-wrapped steam pipes, pumps, or other machinery. Engine rooms, boiler rooms, and the power plant had the highest concentration of asbestos products. Because asbestos was so prevalent on board, most veterans of Guest were exposed to it while serving. If you or a loved one served on this vessel and later developed mesothelioma, the asbestos used on Guest may have caused or contributed to your disease.Sources