The USS Lamberton (DD-119) served in the US Navy for three decades in the early 20th century. She was named for Captain Benjamin P. Lamberton who served as chief of staff aboard USS Olympia in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898, during the Spanish-American War. Lamberton was built as a Wickes-class ship.
Lamberton was laid down in Newport News, Virginia by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company in October 1917, launched in March 1918, and commissioned in August with Lieutenant Commander Frank L. Slingluff in command. Carrying a crew of 101, Lamberton 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.
Lamberton joined the Atlantic Fleet in the Azores in the spring of 1919, and was then reassigned to the Pacific Fleet out of San Diego, California in August. During this deployment, Lamberton operated along the west coast of the United States, participating in training maneuvers and experimenting with naval tactics. Lamberton was decommissioned in June 1922.
Re-commissioned in November 1930, Lamberton served with Lieutenant Commander S. N. Moore in command. She participated in training exercises for two years, and was reclassified as AG-21 in April 1932. Lamberton then operated as a target-towing ship from 1933 until 1940 out of San Diego, and engaged in experimental minesweeping exercises. She was once again reclassified in November 1940 and designated DMS-2.
Lamberton was deployed to Pearl Harbor in September 1941 and conducted target towing and screening operations. During the Japanese attack on the harbor, she was escorting Minneapolis to Oahu, and returned to Pearl Harbor to conduct sweeping operations after the attack. Lamberton patrolled the Hawaiian Islands for seven months following the bombing.
In July 1942, Lamberton arrived at Kodiak, Alaska and conducted high-speed minesweeping, as well as escort and patrol duty, in the North Pacific. Lamberton served as an escort for the task group that brought reinforcements for the second landing at Massacre Bay. In July 1943, Lamberton returned to San Diego and performed target-towing operations along the west coast and from Pearl Harbor.
Lamberton was reclassified as AG-21 in June 1946, and operated out of San Diego as an auxiliary once the Japanese surrendered. She was de-commissioned at Bremerton, Washington in December and sold for scrap to the National Metal & Steel Company at Terminal Island in May 1947.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Lamberton (DD-119)
While all of the service branches utilized asbestos in various bases and vehicles, asbestos products were most common on ships, where insulation and fireproofing were of critical importance. Exposure to airborne asbestos fibers is known to cause a number of serious illness, including the cancer called mesothelioma. Studies find significantly more navy mesothelioma patients than in other service branches. And because the Lamberton sailed before the dangers of asbestos were fully realized, her crew faced an even higher risk of exposure, because fewer protections were employed.
If you or a loved one received a mesothelioma diagnosis after serving in the Navy, you should be aware that there are legal avenues to compensation for your injury. A professional mesothelioma attorney can aid you in deciding your course of action. Accurate information about malignant mesothelioma isn't easy to unearth, so to help we've created a mesothelioma information package with information on legal options and advances in treatment. All you have to do is submit the form on this page and we'll send you your free packet.Sources
Hazy Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-119
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd119txt.htm Retrieved 20 December 2010
NavSource Naval History, USS Lamberton (DD-119).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/119.htm Retrieved 20 December 2010