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USS Hall (DD-583)

The USS Hall (DD-583) served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was later transferred to Greece. She was named for Lieutenant Elijah Hall who served with the Continental Navy in the American Revolutionary War. Hall was a member of the Fletcher class of naval destroyers.

Construction

Hall was laid down by the Boston Navy Yard in April 1942, launched in July, and commissioned in July 1943 with Commander J.F. Delaney in command. Carrying a crew of 273, Hall was 376 feet, five inches long and 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.

Naval History

Hall conducted escort duties out of Norfolk and Boston, and then sailed with battleship Iowa, with President Roosevelt onboard, en-route to the Teheran conference in November 1943. Following anti-submarine service off western Africa, Hall returned with the same vessels, and was then deployed to the Pacific, arriving at Pearl Harbor in January 1944. Hall participated in the bombardment of the Marshall Islands at the end of January and then the assault on Kwajalein in February. In April, Hall was struck by two 6-inch shells, killing one sailor, and continued on the mission of rescuing an airman from a downed Marine aircraft.

Hall operated as an escort for oil vessels traveling to the Mariana Islands, from August to November, and arrived at Leyte Gulf, Philippines in December. She endured several air attacks during operations at Mindoro Island and during the troop landings at Mangarin Bay. In January 1945, Hall encountered intense air attacks from Japanese kamikaze planes in the Philippines, including at Lingayen Gulf. Following the initial assault, Hall continued escort and screening duties, until reporting to Ulithi.

In February, Hall conducted shore bombardment and covered underwater demolition teams during the invasion of Iwo Jima. The destroyer began patrols off Okinawa in March, and during the invasion protected minesweepers by firing at enemy units, and also rescued 48 survivors when Twiggs hit a mine. Hall was detached from the operations at Okinawa in June and was berthed at San Pedro, California for overhaul, but when World War II ended, she was put in reserve. The destroyer was reactivated in December 1959, loaned to Greece in February 1960 as Lonchi, and used for scrap at Aliaga, Turkey in 1997.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Hall (DD-583)

Asbestos products were employed in most sections of Hall. The mineral was often mixed into cement and paint. There were even asbestos adhesives. Asbestos was used even more frequently in particular compartments the ship, with the heaviest concentration in the engineering sections. There it was used as an insulating material for boiler plants, bilge pumps, and engines. No area aboard Hall was entirely safe from asbestos contamination.

Prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber, especially friable asbestos, amplifies the risk of contracting mesothelioma. Asbestos materials become friable when they are worn or damaged. The heavy fire sustained by Hall during World War II exposed her crew and repair workers to higher amounts of these dangerous, friable asbestos products. Veterans of the Hall may have legal rights if they were injured by asbestos during their service.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-583
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd583txt.htm) Retrieved 24 January 2011.

NavSource Naval History. USS Hall (DD-583)
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/583.htm) Retrieved 24 January 2011.

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