The USS John S. McCain (DD-928) served in the U.S. Navy for over two and a half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for John Sidney McCain who served during the Mexican Revolution and his son, also named John Sidney McCain, who served during World War II. John S. McCain was a member of the Mitscher class of destroyers.
John S. McCain was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath, Maine in October 1949, launched in July 1952, and commissioned in October 1953 with Commander Edward R. King, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 360, John S. McCain was 490 feet long and armed with two five-inch rapid fire guns, four three-inch rapid fire guns, eight 20-millimeter anti-submarine weapons systems, four 21-inch torpedo tubes, and one DC rack.
John S. McCain underwent trials and shakedown training for a year in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. The destroyer began operating with the Operational Development Force, to test new equipment, at Norfolk, Virginia in May 1955 until November 1956. John S. McCain arrived at San Diego in December and then operated locally for five months.
John S. McCain was deployed to the Far East in April 1957, visited Australia, and then served on the Formosa Patrol. After returning to San Diego in September, John S. McCain changed home ports to Pearl Harbor in early 1958, where she participated in anti-submarine training and fleet maneuvers for eight months. John S. McCain sailed to the Formosa-South China Sea area in September for anti-Communist operations with the 7th Fleet.
John S. McCain arrived in the Far East again in the fall of 1959, operated off Laos, and then aided flood victims at Calcutta, India in October. She then rescued the crew of Japanese freighter Shinwa Maru in January 1960 in the South China Sea, and returned to Pearl Harbor in February. John S. McCain served with the 7th Fleet off Vietnam from March to September 1961, and participated in nuclear tests at Johnston Island in April 1962.
Deployed to Vietnam on two more occasions, John S. McCain returned to the east coast in June 1966 and then was converted to guided missile destroyer DDG-36 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The destroyer was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list in April 1978 and sold for scrap in December 1979.
Asbestos Risk on the USS John S. McCain (DD-928)
ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) were found in practically every compartment on oceangoing craft such as the USS John S. McCain. Asbestos was used more extensively in some areas, however, and could be found wrapped around steam pipes throughout the ship and in heavy equipment such as boilers. It also existed in materials used regularly in ship repair and maintenance such as seals, interior paint, and even adhesives.
In the latter part of the twentieth century the fact that asbestos was known to cause cancer, mesothelioma cancer specifically, was made public. Many navy veterans have been and still are being diagnosed with this serious illness as a result of their service in the United States Navy.Sources