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USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875)

The USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) was a Gearing-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy named in honor of Henry W. Tucker (1919-1942). Henry W. Tucker was posthumously awarded the highest medal of the U.S. Navy, the Navy Cross, after he was killed in action during the battle of the Coral Sea.

Construction

Built at Orange, Texas, by the Consolidated Steel Corporation, Henry W. Tucker was launched in May 1944, and commissioned in March 1945, under the command of Commander Bernard H. Meyer.

Naval History

Following her shakedown, Henry W. Tucker was converted to a radar picket destroyer and deployed to the New England coast where she participated in radar and anti-aircraft exercises. In November 1945, Henry W. Tucker was dispatched to the Pacific and arrived at Yokosuka, Japan to assist in the occupation and repatriation of Japanese nationals. Operating out of San Diego, California, Henry W. Tucker made two more voyages to the Far East and participated in exercises off the east coast. In spring of 1948, Henry W. Tucker was engaged with the United States atomic bomb tests in the Pacific islands. The following year, in March 1949, Henry W. Tucker was reclassified DDR-875.

During the Korean War, Henry W. Tucker joined the 7th Fleet and divided her time between maneuvers off the west coast and Hawaii with deployments to the western Pacific. From December 1962 through December 1963, Henry W. Tucker underwent the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard.

During the Vietnam War, Henry W. Tucker served antisubmarine duty off Vietnam and Taiwan until April 1965, at which time she kept close watch on Vietnamese coastal traffic to thwart supplies to the Viet Cong in Operation Market Time. In May, Henry W. Tucker became the first U.S. ship to bombard enemy targets when she pounded Viet Cong positions south of Saigon. Henry W. Tucker spent the next 14 months carrying out missions in the South China Sea, the Gulf of Tonkin, and off the Vietnam coast. She served as plane guard for carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Operation Sea Dragon, provided gunfire support and carried out search and rescue missions.

Henry W. Tucker was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in December 1973, and transferred to the Brazilian Navy. Following her service as Marcilio Dias (D-25), the former Henry W. Tucker was decommissioned and sunk as a target in September 1994.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875)

The U.S. Navy deployed asbestos as an insulator and for fireproofing aboard its ships. On board Henry W. Tucker, ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) were found in practically every compartment. The engineering and boiler rooms employed the largest quantity of asbestos-containing materials, as insulation for steam pipes, to fireproof ship's boilers, and to insulate components of the ship's motors and turbines. Sailors assigned to the engineering compartment had the highest level of exposure, but no sailor from the Tucker was without risk.

Breathing or swallowing of asbestos fibers is strongly linked to the development of mesothelioma. Many more Navy veterans are diagnosed with the disease than are veterans of the other armed services. This is likely due to the high concentration of asbestos products used on ships and the close quarters sailors lived and work in. If you or a loved one was injured by asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy, you may have legal rights.

Sources

Sources

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. (http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/h4/henry_w_tucker.htm) Retrieved 12 March 2011

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