The USS John Paul Jones (DD-932) remained on the Navy list for three decades during the mid-to-late-20th century. She was named for John Paul Jones, an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution. John Paul Jones was commissioned as a Forrest Sherman class naval vessel.
John Paul Jones was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in January 1954, launched in May 1955, and commissioned in April 1956 with Commander Robert W. Hayler, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 324, John Paul Jones was 418 feet, six inches in length and armed with four three-inch rapid fire guns, two anti-submarine mortars, four 21-inch torpedo tubes, and six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes.
John Paul Jones underwent shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and then sailed to Northern Europe and the British Isles. The destroyer returned to Newport, Rhode Island in October 1956 and embarked on her first voyage with the 6th Fleet to the Mediterranean in March 1957. Arriving at Newport in June, John Paul Jones then participated in NATO exercises in the North Atlantic in October.
John Paul Jones conducted training maneuvers with Canadian vessels in the spring of 1958, and resumed operations off the east coast and the Caribbean before taking part in peacekeeping operations with the 6th Fleet from March to July 1959. In 1960, John Paul Jones operated in the Atlantic, participated in midshipman training, and then sailed around South America. John Paul Jones then conducted anti-submarine exercises in the Caribbean and off Newport in 1961, and operated off Cuba during the missile crisis in 1962.
Operations in the Mediterranean and Atlantic continued in 1963, and John Paul Jones was fitted with a Gemini recovery crane in 1964. The destroyer retrieved an orbital spacecraft and two astronauts south of Bermuda in March 1965. NATO exercises in the Mediterranean followed from June to November. John Paul Jones was converted to guided missile destroyer DDG-32 at Philadelphia, and was out of commission there from December 1965 to the fall of 1967.
John Paul Jones remained in service until being decommissioned in December 1982, was struck from the Navy list in 1986, and sunk during training exercises off California in January 2001.
Asbestos Risk on the USS John Paul Jones (DD-932)
Asbestos was found widely in nearly every corridor and compartment on naval vessels like the USS John Paul Jones. Oftentimes, asbestos could be found in larger amounts in specific areas of navy ships such as the compartments that housed heavy equipment like engines, boilers, turbines, pumps, etc. In those areas, asbestos was used extensively, both on the equipment and in the construction of the rooms, for fireproofing and insulation. The use of asbestos for insulation, in fact, was so common that even areas of the ship not containing machinery often contained asbestos.
Because asbestos is a mineral fiber, when it is damaged the individual fibers can peel off and enter the air where they are likely to be absorbed by the body. Members of the crew whose jobs brought them into regular contact with damaged asbestos ran a higher risk of developing mesothelioma as a result of breathing in asbestos.
There is legal recourse for anybody living with pleural mesothelioma and other ailments caused by asbestos exposure. Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be difficult news to receive. We have, however, compiled a comprehensive mesothelioma information kit to help you understand the legal and medical options that may be available to you. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we will rush you your packet, at no cost or obligation - just fill in the form on this page.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-932.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd932txt.htm) Retrieved 24 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. John Paul Jones (DD-932).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/932.htm) Retrieved 24 February 2011.