The USS Ingersoll (DD-652) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Royal Rodney Ingersoll who served in World War I and was killed during the Battle of Midway in World War II. Ingersoll was built as a Fletcher-class ship.
Ingersoll was laid down at Bath, Maine by Bath Iron Works in February 1943, launched in June, and commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard in August with Commander Alexander Craig Veasey in command. Measuring 376 feet, five inches in length, Ingersoll was 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.
Ingersoll underwent training off Bermuda in September and October 1943, and participated in a fleet review at Boston in November. Arriving at Pearl Harbor in late December, Ingersoll then participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands. In late January 1944, the destroyer supported operations at Kwajalein, and screened aircraft carriers while they provided air strikes on Truk in February. Ingersoll also operated during air strikes on the Palaus and Hollandia, as well as Okinawa and Formosa.
Ingersoll participated in the Battle for Leyte Gulf in October and underwent overhaul at Ulithi until January 1945. The destroyer served during the Lingayen invasion, and after operations off the coast of China, Ingersoll returned to Pearl Harbor, in both February and April. Ingersoll participated in the battle at Okinawa in May, bombarded iron works at Kamaishi in July, and was present during the surrender ceremonies at Tokyo Bay in August 1945.
Assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet from July 1946 to May 1951, at Charleston, Ingersoll was deployed to the Mediterranean in August 1952 with the 6th Fleet. Ingersoll returned to the United States in February 1953 and then joined Task Force 77 off Korea in September, before completing a trip around the globe by March 1954. She served in the Panama Canal Zone during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and returned to the Far East several more times, including during the Vietnam War in 1965 and again in 1966. Ingersoll returned to the United States in the spring of 1967, was struck from the Navy list in January 1970, and sunk as a training target in May 1974.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Ingersoll (DD-652)
Like most ships of this era, the Ingersoll made extensive use of asbestos products in nearly every compartment. The highest concentration of such parts was in engineering, where asbestos was used to insulate and protect boilers, engines, pumps and pipes. No area on board was completely safe from the mineral, as it was often mixed into paints and cements when Ingersoll was built.
Crewmen assigned to the engineering compartment, damage control, or who operated heavy machinery had the greatest total exposure. Repair workers were at particular risk because damaged asbestos releases individual mineral fibers, which are easy to inhale. Once they infiltrate the body, asbestos fibers can cause scarring in internal organs, and sometimes, mesothelioma cancer. Navy veterans who later became ill with asbestos-related conditions are often entitled to compensation for their injury.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-652. (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd652txt.htm) Retrieved 1 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. USS Ingersoll (DD-652).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/652.htm) Retrieved 1 February 2011.