The USS John Hood (DD-655) served in the U.S. Navy for two decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral John Hood who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. John Hood was laid down as a Fletcher-class ship.
John Hood was laid down at Chickasaw, Alabama by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation in October 1942, launched in October 1943, and commissioned in June 1944 with Commander Thomas J. Thronhill in command. Carrying a crew of 273, John Hood was 376 feet, five inches long and armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1 inch anti-aircraft guns, and four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns.
John Hood underwent shakedown training in the Caribbean and then was assigned to duty in the Pacific, where she sailed to the Aleutian Islands in September 1944. During this deployment, John Hood joined Destroyer Squadron 57 of Task Force 92 and struck enemy outposts in the Kurile Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk. John Hood served in this region until the war ended, and was deployed to Northern Japan in August 1945 for the occupation. She continued this service until November, and was decommissioned at Charleston, South Carolina in July 1946, where she was placed with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until August 1951.
John Hood conducted a cruise around the world beginning in June 1951, and during this deployment, participated in peacekeeping patrols off Korea with the 7th Fleet. In November 1955, John Hood sailed for the Mediterranean from Norfolk, Virginia and arrived back in the United States in February 1956. The destroyer also served as a training ship for midshipmen that summer, and then was deployed to Lisbon during the Suez Crisis.
Following deployment to the Middle East in 1957, John Hood then operated with the Fleet Sonar School in 1958, before being placed in the Reserve Destroyer Squadron at New York as a reserve training ship. This duty lasted from October 1959 to August 1961, and resumed in August 1962 until 1967. John Hood was struck from the Navy list in December 1974 and sold for scrap to Luria Brothers and Company in April 1976.
Asbestos Risk on the USS John Hood (DD-655)
Significant industrial developments in the late 1800s resulted in the manufacture of boilers, steam engines, and other heavy equipment which demanded the utilization of asbestos-based insulation to protect it from fire and heat. The heavy equipment including boilers and engines on merchant and naval craft such as the USS John Hood contained asbestos insulation and other asbestos components. Those responsible for working on this machinery were frequently at risk for breathing in loose asbestos fibers that entered the air during repair and maintenance. When inhaled, microscopic asbestos fibers become stuck in the lungs and may eventually result in mesothelioma, a serious asbestos cancer.
Crewmen who worked in the engine room, worked on heavy machinery, or worked in damage control had a greater likelihood of being exposed to asbestos on the job and hence a greater risk of developing mesothelioma. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber, and particularly airborne asbestos, amplifies a person's risk of being diagnosed with an asbestos disease.
Mesothelioma cancer is only one of a number of ailments caused by asbestos, most of which can be life-threatening. Those coping with malignant mesothelioma or other ailments caused by asbestos exposure may have legal options available to them to provide compensation for the injury they sustained from exposure to this toxic substance.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-655
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd655txt.htm) Retrieved 1 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. USS John Hood (DD-655).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/655.htm) Retrieved 1 February 2011.