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USS Hovey (DD-208)

USS Hovey (DD-208)

USS Hovey (DD-208) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the US Navy during World War II. She was the only ship to be named in honor of Ensign Charles Hovey, who was an officer in the Navy during the Philippine-American War.


Hovey was launched by William Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 1919. She was sponsored by Mrs. Louise F. Kautz, who was Hovey's sister. Stephen B. McKinney took command of Hovey on October 2, 1919.

Naval History

Following her shakedown, which took place off the coast of Florida as well as in the Caribbean, Hovey sailed with Chandler to the Azores and to Brest, France. Here, she served duty as a station ship until she sailed for the Adriatic Sea on July 10, 1920. After delivering important papers, Hovey visited various Russian Ports as she served as a station ship. In December, she sailed to Egypt and served with the Asiatic Fleet in the Philippines. She remained with the Asiatic Fleet until October 2, 1922, at which time she returned to San Francisco, California. Hovey was decommissioned on February 1, 1923 in San Diego. Seven years later, she was recommissioned with Commander Stuart O. Greig in command.

Following shakedown, Hovey was primarily used as a training ship for reservists until November 1940. At this time, she was converted to a high speed minesweeper and was reclassified DMS-11. After completing intensive training, Hovey was assigned to duty in Pearl Harbor. At the time Pearl Harbor was bombed, Hovey was at sea serving as an antisubmarine screen for Minneapolis. Upon her return to Pearl Harbor, Hovey immediately took on convoy duties. She continued to perform these duties until July, at which time she joined the Minesweeping Group, South Pacific Amphibious Force.

On August 7, Hovey assisted with the invasion of Guadalcanal before joining other DMS ships for sweeps between Bungan and Gavutu Islands. The following morning, she steamed to Lengo Channel to ward off a squadron of torpedo bombers. The US response to the attacks caused the Japanese plans to drop their torpedoes too early, rendering their attack almost completely ineffective.

Hovey continued to provide screening and escort duties in various places around the world, including in the Solomons and the Peleliu Islands. Hovey also served as the flagship in the invasion of Luzon, during which she was sunk by a torpedo. Twenty four men were lost in the attack. Hovey earned eight battle stars for her service during World War II.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Hovey (DD-208)

Using asbestos insulation in the construction of naval ships was ordered by the US Congress in the 1930s, after a fire at sea aboard a cruise ship killed more than 100 people. Ships like Hovey deployed asbestos extensively, especially in boilers and engineering compartments, and to insulate pipes all over the vessel. When asbestos-containing material is worn or damaged it becomes "friable", which means that fibers can be broken off and enter the air, allowing them to be inhaled or ingested by sailors and repair workers, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma.

Presently, medical science has not developed a mesothelioma cure, but there are a number of supportive approaches that lengthen survival time and make patients more comfortable, such as mesothelioma radiation therapy. If you or someone in your family has received a diagnosis of pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, understand that you may have legal options available to you. Choosing a good mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand what they are. We have also produced a mesothelioma information packet with information on legal and medical options, along with a list of clinical trials nationwide. Just complete the form on this page and we will send you a packet at no charge.



Hovey. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center. ( Retrieved 24 December 2010

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