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USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864)

The USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) served in the U.S. Navy for three and a half decades during the middle of the 20th century. She was named for Harold Harold J. Ellison, a U.S. Navy officer killed during World War II. Harris J. Ellison was built as a Gearing-class ship.


Harold J. Ellison was laid down Staten Island, New York by Bethlehem Steel in October 1944. She was launched in March 1945 and commissioned in June 1945, with Commander J.C. South at the helm. Harold J. Ellison carried a crew of 336 and had a cruising speed of 36.8 knots. She was armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Naval History

Harold J. Ellison was scheduled to begin her service with the Pacific fleet in 1945, but the end of Japanese aggression made this plan unnecessary. The vessel instead remained in US waters, cruising the Atlantic and Caribbean regions.

In 1947, Harold J. Ellison began a series of cruises to the Mediterranean to help keep the peace and protect American interests in that region. In the mid-1950s, she expanded to additional European ports and helped stabilize the Middle East during and after the Suez Crisis. In 1958, she was again called upon for an important peace-keeping effort when tumult erupted in Lebanon.

In 1960, Harold J. Ellison supported the fleet dispatched to the Persian Gulf during the crisis in Kuwait. In 1962, she participated in the recovery operation for NASA’s Project Mercury, and later that year, she received her fleet rehabilitation and modernization (FRAM) overhaul. The years that followed centered around various peace-keeping missions, which earned her five prized Battle Efficiency “E” awards.

In 1965, Harold J. Ellison was dispatched to the Pacific as part of the US efforts in Vietnam. There, she screened carriers, patrolled, served as a rescue destroyer, and provided shore fire to support American troops. She returned to the US for an overhaul in 1966 and was soon re-assigned to the Atlantic fleet.

In 1983, after more than three decades of service to the United States, Harold J. Ellison was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list. She was then transferred to Pakistan, where she was renamed Shah Jahan. The vessel was eventually cannibalized for parts and sunk as a missile target in 1994.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864)

Aboard the USS Harold J. Ellison asbestos insulation was used in almost all sections of the ship; both in heavy duty engine equipment and on steam pipes, because it was an efficient and inexpensive insulator.

Greater exposure to asbestos insulation, and specifically friable asbestos, amplifies a person's risk of contracting malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos that becomes worn or damaged may become "friable". This means that the individual mineral fibers in the material become separated and then may be absorbed into the lungs or ingested.

Those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other ailments caused by asbestos may be able to receive compensation for their injury. Please fill in the request form on this page and we will send you an information kit explaining your available legal options.



Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-864.
( Retrieved 26 February 2011.

NavSource Naval History, USS Ellison (DD-864).
( Retrieved 26 February 2011.

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