Resources for Patients and their Families

USS John D. Edwards (DD-216)

USS John D. Edwards (DD-216)

The USS John D. Edwards (DD-216) served in the US Navy for over two-and-a-half decades in the early 20th century, and earned three battle stars for service in World War II. She was named for Lieutenant John D. Edwards who served on the destroyer Shaw in World War I. John D. Edwards was designed as a Clemson-class destroyer.


John D. Edwards was laid down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company in May 1919, launched in October, and commissioned in April 1920 with Commander Alexander Sharp in command. Carrying a crew of 114, John D. Edwards had a range of 4,900 nautical miles and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Naval History

John D. Edwards was deployed to Turkish waters after departing Philadelphia in May 1920, and helped evacuate refugees and establish communications in the Near East. In May 1921, John D. Edwards was deployed to the Asiatic Squadron and conducted patrols in the Philippines and China. She aided victims following the Japanese earthquake in 1923 and protected foreigners during the Chinese Civil War in 1924.

In 1925, John D. Edwards was assigned to training duty out of Norfolk, Virginia, and then began service in the Pacific in late 1927 until August 1929. John D. Edwards joined the Asiatic Fleet to protect American interests during the Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s, and searched for survivors of HMS Prince of Wales off of Borneo following United States entry into World War II. As a unit of Destroyer Squadron 29, John D. Edwards intercepted a Japanese convoy in February 1942 off of Madura Island, and escorted ships damaged in the attack to Java, Indonesia.

John D. Edwards participated in another attack on a Japanese convoy in February, which resulted in severe damage to the enemy destroyer Michishio. She joined Japanese Java Invasion Force for the Battle of the Java Sea in February, and continued on to Australia to escort convoys. John D. Edwards continued escort duty from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco, California, and commenced escorts in the Atlantic in June 1943, between the east coast and North Africa. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia in July 1945 and sold for scrap to the Boston Metals Company in November.

Asbestos Risk on the USS John D. Edwards (DD-216)

The use of asbestos insulation in the design of all ships was mandated by Congress in the early 1930s, after a deadly fire on a cruise ship caused the deaths of more than 100 passengers and crew. John D. Edwards installed asbestos insulation frequently around engines and engineering compartments, and to insulate pipes in the other sections of the ship. When asbestos-containing material is worn or damaged it can become friable, meaning that fibers can be broken off and enter the air, allowing them to be breathed in by crewmen and shipfitters, potentially leading to the development of mesothelioma.

Since mesothelioma often advances aggressively and goes undiagnosed until it has reached advanced stages, a mesothelioma prognosis is often not optimistic. As malignant mesothelioma is a fairly rare disease, not many facilities and clinicians have expertise in the treatment of mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, a mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. In addition, we make our mesothelioma information packet available to victims and their families. It is a complete resource with information about legal options and treatment resources as well as a list of mesothelioma clinical trials in the United States. All you have to do is fill out the form on this page and we will send you the package at no charge.



Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-216. ( Retrieved 28 December 2010.

NavSource Naval History, USS John D. Edwards (DD-216).

( Retrieved 28 December 2010.

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