Resources for Patients and their Families

USS Kennison (DD-138)

The USS Kennison (DD-138) served in the U.S. Navy for over two and a half decades in the early 20th century. She was named for Acting Master William W. Kennison who served in the Civil War and was noted for his actions during the battle between CSS Merrimac and USS Cumberland. Kennison was built as a Wickes-class ship.


Kennison was laid down in Vallejo, California by Mare Island Navy Yard in February 1918, launched in June, and commissioned in April 1919 with Commander R.P. Enrich in command. Carrying a crew of 103, Kennison was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, two anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was propelled by geared turbines and had a cruising speed of 35 knots.

Naval History

Kennison arrived in San Diego, California in March 1920, conducted experimental torpedo and anti-aircraft exercises, and participated in coastal operations and tactical exercises until being put on half-crew in August 1921. In June 1922, Kennison was decommissioned until being reactivated in December 1939 with Lieutenant W.G Michelet in command. Kennison was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol in May, 1940, participated in reserve training from June to September, and continued with patrol duty from October until the United States entered World War II.

In 1942, Kennison was assigned to patrols and escorted convoys and submarines to California ports. She was converted to a target ship for aerial torpedo exercises at Bremerton, Washington and re-designated AG-83, and performed this service in San Diego for the rest of World War II. After the war, Kennison arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, in October 1944, was decommissioned in November 1945 at Portsmouth, Virginia, and stricken from the Navy list in December. She was sold for scrap to Luria Brothers & Company, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in November 1946.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Kennison (DD-138)

The greatest concentration of asbestos parts on ships of this era was in the engine and boiler rooms. Wear and tear on those key systems could cause asbestos fibers to tear free and form a fine dust. Because airborne asbestos can easily be spread from compartment to compartment, no area aboard Kennison was completely safe. If your loved one was one of the many Navy veterans harmed by shipboard asbestos, you may have legal rights.



Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-138.

NavSource Naval History, USS Kennison (DD-138).

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