The USS Hailey (DD-556) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly two decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Captain Joshua Hailey who commanded the privateer True Blood Yankee in the early 1800s. Hailey was a member of the Fletcher-class of naval destroyers.
Hailey was laid down at Seattle, Washington by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in April 1942, launched in March 1943, and commissioned in September with Commander Parke H. Brady in command. Carrying a crew of 273, Hailey was armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Hailey was assigned to the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor following initial training at San Diego. Operating as a screening ship with the Southern Attack Force in January 1944, Hailey participated in the assault on the Marshall Islands. Hailey was then assigned to the Northern Support Group, and served patrol duty for most of April and May. During this deployment, Hailey used her firepower to support Army operations at New Guinea, and then served with Destroyer Division 94 in the Solomon Islands in May. Hailey and three other vessels succeeded in destroying Japanese submarine I-176 on this run.
In June, Hailey served screening and patrol duty near Saipan, participated in pre-invasion strikes on Guam in July, and served with the Southern Attack Force during the island’s capture in August. Hailey was assigned to screening duty with aircraft carriers when the Palaus Islands were raided and occupied. She participated in strikes on Formosa and then operated with Fast Carrier Task Force 58 beginning in February 1945 to bombard enemy targets, such as Okinawa, until June.
Hailey returned to the United States in July 1945 and was placed with the Reserve Fleet at San Diego in January 1946, until reactivation in April 1951. The destroyer was assigned to the 6th Fleet at Newport, Rhode Island, but returned to the west coast for deployment during the Korean War, where she became part of Carrier Task Force 77. Hailey returned to the east coast in February 1953 and served during four different missions to the Mediterranean from September 1954 to September 1959. She was decommissioned in November 1960 at Portsmouth, Virginia, transferred to Brazil in July 1961 and renamed Pernambuco, and then sunk in 1982.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Hailey (DD-556)
As asbestos was used in hundreds of applications, the toxic fibers could be found throughout naval vessels like Hailey. Some ship compartments used asbestos-containing material more heavily than others: asbestos was deployed as an insulating material for boiler plants, bilge pumps, and engines. Even sections with no particular mechanical function contained asbestos, as the substance was widely used in cement, glues, caulk, gaskets and common items.
As it has been proven that exposure to asbestos can cause serious illness and significant risk of death, there are legal options available to Navy veterans who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma. We have put together a helpful mesothelioma information packet to aid you in understanding your rights. All you need to do is complete the form on this web page and we will mail you an information kit, absolutely free.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-556
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd556txt.htm) Retrieved 21 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Hailey (DD-556)
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/556.htm) Retrieved 21 January 2011.