The USS Lamson (DD-328) served in the US Navy for a decade during the early part of the 20th century. She was named for Lieutenant Roswell Hawkes Lamson who served in key battles during the Civil War, including the assault against Fort Fisher in 1865. Lamson was laid down as a Clemson-class ship.
Lamson was laid down at San Francisco, California by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in August 1919, launched in September 1920, and commissioned in April 1921 with Lieutenant Commander F.L. Johnston in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Lamson had a displacement of 1,215 tons and was 314 feet, five inches long, with a beam of 31 feet, eight inches and draught of nine feet, 10 inches. Lamson was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was driven by geared turbines and had a cruising speed of 35 knots.
Lamson began her service with the Atlantic Fleet and operated out of Charleston, South Carolina beginning in April 1921. She operated along the east coast of the United States, and in the Caribbean Sea, from 1921 to 1925. During this deployment, Lamson was assigned to fleet maneuvers, war games, and as a training vessel for reservists. Initially commanded by Lieutenant Commander F.L. Johnston, Lamson was later commanded by Lieutenant Commander Henry Davis McGuire and Lieutenant Commander Robert Alfred Lavender.
In June 1925, Lamson was deployed to European and Mediterranean waters with the United States Naval Forces. Lamson returned to the United States a year later as a member of the Scouting Fleet. She was assigned to fleet exercises and maneuvers on the east coast and in the Caribbean. Lamson was decommissioned in May 1930 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, stricken from the Navy list in October, and sold for scrap to the Boston Iron & Metal Company, in Baltimore, Maryland, in January 1931.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Lamson (DD-328)
Using asbestos in the construction of oceangoing ships was ordered by law in the US in the early 1930s, after a fire at sea aboard a cruise ship caused the deaths of more than 100 passengers and crew. Ships like Lamson utilized asbestos insulation in great quantities around ship's boilers and engineering rooms, and to insulate pipes in the other sections of the vessel. When an asbestos-based product becomes worn it can become "friable", which means that the fibers can be broken off and escape into the surrounding air, allowing them to be inhaled or ingested by ship's crew and shipfitters, possibly causing mesothelioma. The damage brought about by asbestos fibers occurs when very small fibers are inhaled or ingested; they can infiltrate the mesothelial lining and occasionally the stomach, leading to scar tissue in the case of pleural plaques and damage at the cellular level in the case of mesothelioma cancer.
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Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-328.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd328txt.htm Retrieved 6 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Lamson (DD-328).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/328.htm Retrieved 6 January 2011.