The USS Ingersoll (DD-990) served in the U.S. Navy for less than two decades in the late 20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Royal Easton Ingersoll, a U.S. Navy four star admiral who rose to the rank of Deputy Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet/Deputy Chief of Naval Operations during World War II. Ingersoll was laid down as a Spruance-class destroyer.
Ingersoll was laid down at Pascagoula, Mississippi by the Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in December 1977, launched in March 1979, and commissioned in April 1980 with Commander Edward Robinson Fickenscher III in command. Carrying a crew of 296, Ingersoll was 563 feet long and armed with two five-inch rapid fire guns, a surface-to-air missile system, an anti-submarine rocket launcher, six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes, and one helicopter. Four gas turbines and two screws supported a cruising speed of 30 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 20 knots.
Ingersoll moved to San Diego, California after being commissioned. The destroyer was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal in 1981, for her efforts to rescue 39 refugees in the South China Sea. While operating in the Indian Ocean in February 1985, Ingersoll had to depart from duty with her battle group because of damage to her port oil distribution box. Ingersoll sustained minimal damage after making a heavy landing against a Canadian tug off British Columbia in January 1986.
The destroyer made visits to Fremantle and Sydney, Australia in September 1988, as well as Melbourne in October. Ingersoll suffered another collision in 1992 on the return trip from a Persian Gulf deployment, while departing from Malaysia, which resulted in significant hull damage. In 1996, Ingersoll visited Tasmania during a six-month deployment, which also involved the transport of teddy bears from Perth to Hobart, Australia. This was part of an effort to raise money for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth.
Ingersoll took part in Maritime Interdiction Operations in the Arabian Gulf from November 1997 to May 1998, to support United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Decommissioned and struck from the Navy list in July 1998, Ingersoll was then berthed at Pearl Harbor until being sunk during a target exercise in July 2003.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Ingersoll (DD-990)
The asbestos risk on Ingersoll DD-990 was significantly less than on ships built just a few years earlier. By the late 1970’s, the dangers of asbestos exposure were well understood, and in 1979, the EPA established regulations on its use. But because DD-990 was laid down before the regulations took effect, there were still likely to be some asbestos products on board.
When asbestos products are disturbed, they can release tiny fibers into the surrounding air. While the sailors aboard Ingersoll were likely aware of the dangers involved in handling asbestos, damage to the ship could have elevated the exposure risk. Mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases can take decades to develop, so veterans of Ingersoll might yet become ill. There are legal options for sailors injured by asbestos during their service.Sources
NavSource Naval History. USS Ingersoll (DD-990).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/990.htm) Retrieved 7 March 2011.
GlobalSecurity.org USS Ingersoll (DD-990).
(http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/dd-990.htm) Retrieved 7 March 2011.