The USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly two and a half decades in the early 20th century. She was named for Commodore Jacob Jones who served in the Quasi-War with France, the War of 1812, the final Barbary War, and as commandant of the Naval Asylum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jacob Jones was built as a Wickes-class ship.
Jacob Jones was laid down in Camden, New Jersey, by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in February 1918, launched in November, and commissioned in October 1919 with Lieutenant Commander P.H. Bastedo in command. Carrying a crew of 101, Jacob Jones was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two three-inch anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Jacob Jones conducted training exercises in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific in January 1920, and then anti-aircraft and firing exercises along the California coast. Assigned to Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet in June 1921, Jacob Jones was decommissioned in June 1922 until May 1930, and served as a plane guard for aircraft carriers.
Jacob Jones operated in Chesapeake Bay in May 1930 and was overhauled at Boston in October, and then again at Charleston in 1933. In 1934, Jacob Jones served as an escort when President Roosevelt visited Haiti, and was assigned to minesweeping training in February 1937. She remained a practice ship for reserve officers until January 1938, and was overhauled at Norfolk, Virginia in March.
In September 1938, Jacob Jones operated with Squadron 40-T in the Mediterranean and joined the Neutrality Patrol in 1940. She was assigned to escort duty in New England and Newfoundland in 1941, and joined Convoy HX-169 in January 1942. While serving with this convoy, Jacob Jones encountered a violent storm, and was separated from her accompanying ships.
Jacob Jones came in contact with a submarine near Ambrose Light Ship on the Atlantic coast in February, and dropped 57 depth charges. Although oil slicks appeared, there was no evidence a submarine was destroyed. On February 28, 1942, Jacob Jones was torpedoed by German submarine U-578 near Cape May, New Jersey. Two torpedoes left the ship unable to send a distress call, and Jacob Jones sank 45 minutes later. Twelve survivors were rescued by Eagle 56 of the Inshore Patrol, while 90 crew members were lost.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Jacob Jones (DD-130)
When Jacob Jones was originally built in 1918, asbestos was used primarily in and around engines, boilers, and other heat-producing systems. Her frequent overhauls likely increased her dependence on asbestos insulation and fireproofing. Any time an asbestos product is installed or repaired, it can leave behind a fine dust containing dangerous asbestos fibers. Once inhaled, those fibers can lead to scarring of the lungs and sometimes, mesothelioma cancer. If your loved one was a veteran of Jacob Jones and later developed an asbestos disease, his naval service may have contributed to his illness.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-130
NavSource Naval History, USS Jacob Jones (DD-130).