The USS Israel (DD-98), was a Wickes-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy during World War I and later. She was named in honor of Joseph Israel (1780-1804), an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War. She was the only ship to bear this name.
In January 1918, Israel was laid down in Quincy, MA, by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company. Completed five months later, Israel was launched in June and commissioned in September under the command of Lieutenant Commander George N. Barker.
Israel passed her shakedown cruise out of Boston before joining with South Carolina at Newport, Rhode Island, in September 1918. Israel’s first assignment as a member of the Destroyer Force in the Atlantic Fleet was escort duty along the eastern seaboard. She sailed with a convoy from New York via the Azores and Portugal, and arrived at Gibraltar in November. Shortly after, Israel escorted the Brazilian Detachment into Gibraltar Harbor before rendezvousing with the Eastern Mediterranean Forces in Venice toward late November. As a station ship, operating out of Venice and Split, Israel transported personnel and equipment until July 1919, when she departed Villefranche, France and arrived at Boston in July via Gibraltar and the Azores.
In July 1920, while undergoing an overhaul at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Israel was modified and converted as a light minelayer and reclassified DM-3. In March 1921, Israel departed Portsmouth, New Hampshire, sailed south along the east coast and joined Mine Squadron 1, Atlantic Fleet, at Gloucester, Massachusetts, in early July.
Israel spent the remainder of 1921 participating in mining practice and maneuvers along the east coast. From January through April 1922, Israel engaged in fleet exercises out of Puerto Rico, Culebra and Guantanamo Bay.
In May 1922, Israel arrived at Philadelphia and was decommissioned there in July. Reduced to a hulk, her remaining years were inactive. Her name was struck from the Navy List in January 1937 and she was sold to the Union Shipbuilding Company, Baltimore, Maryland, in April 1939.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Israel (DD-98)
Israel contained asbestos insulation and fireproofing. Most of that material was in her engineering compartments and boiler rooms. It is likely that other areas of the ship were also contaminated. If your loved one developed asbestos cancer and once served aboard Israel, the ship is a probable source of his exposure.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.