The USS Hanson (DD-832) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Lieutenant Robert Murray Hanson, a Marine Corps fighter pilot in World War II. Hanson was commissioned as a Gearing-class naval vessel.
Hanson was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in September 1944, launched in February 1945, and commissioned in April with Commander John C. Parham in command. With a crew capacity of 336, Hanson was 390 feet, six inches long and included an armament of six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Hanson joined occupation forces off Japan after arriving in the Pacific in November 1945. The destroyer returned to the Atlantic in February 1947 and operated off the east coast until late January 1948 to report for her first tour of Mediterranean duty. Designated radar picket destroyer DDR-832 in March 1949, Hanson then spent the summer as a station ship to the United Nations General Assembly in Greece. Hanson also transported United Nations mediator Dr. Ralph Bunche to Lebanon during peace negotiations between that country and Israel.
Hanson reported for duty off Korea in 1950 and participated in operations at Inchon in September. She also fired on enemy targets during the evacuation of Hungnam and Wonsan in December, and served a second tour of duty in Korea from September 1951 to May 1952, which included service with the Formosa Patrol. A third deployment to Korea lasted from December 1952 to July 1953.
Hanson spent the next few years conducting tactical and battle exercises in the United States and embarking on six-month deployments to the Far East with the 7th Fleet. The destroyer operated off Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea and also called at ports in Australia. Hanson underwent an FRAM conversion at the Mare Island Navy Yard in 1964. West coast operations continued until the summer of 1965 when Hanson was deployed to Vietnam for patrol duty and strikes on enemy targets.
Hanson sailed back to San Diego in December, returned to the Orient in July 1966, and arrived off Vietnam in September. The destroyer returned to San Diego in February 1967 and was decommissioned in March 1973. Transferred to Taiwan in April, Hanson was renamed Liao Yang and served there until June 2004.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Hanson (DD-832)
On board the USS Hanson asbestos insulation was used in most sections, both in the ship’s equipment and around steam pipes. Asbestos-containing material was used throughout the vessel because it could be easily incorporated into many types of products that needed fire resistant capability - among these are gaskets, paint, and even adhesives.
Areas of the ship that housed heavy duty equipment such as the engines and boilers were likely to have greater concentrations of asbestos insulation and other asbestos containing products. This created an increased risk for those working in these areas of being exposed to asbestos while repairing or maintaining this equipment. Engine mechanics, boilermen and pump repair specialists were at high risk of being exposed to what turned out to be a very toxic material.
In the latter part of the 20th century, asbestos exposure was reported to be the cause of a serious form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos companies intentionally withheld information about the dangers of the substance. As a result, many U.S. veterans that served on Navy ships, like the USS Hanson, have been diagnosed with this asbestos cancer. There is help available, however. Please fill in the form on this page to learn more about legal rights for victims of mesothelioma disease.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-832.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd832txt.htm) Retrieved 19 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. Hanson (DD-832).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/832.htm) Retrieved 19 February 2011.