The USS MacKenzie (DD-614) was commissioned by the U.S. Navy during World War II, and remained on the Navy list until the early 1970s. She was named for Lieutenant Commander Alexander S. MacKenzie who served during the Civil War. MacKenzie was commissioned as a Benson-class vessel.
MacKenzie was laid down at San Pedro, California by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in May 1941, launched in June 1942, and commissioned in November with Lieutenant Commander D.B. Miller in command. Carrying a crew of 208, MacKenzie was 348 feet, four inches long and armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, six one-half inch machine guns, and four five-inch anti-aircraft guns.
MacKenzie sailed from California to the Atlantic via the Panama Canal in March 1943. The destroyer conducted coastal escort services out of Casco Bay, Maine and was assigned to trans-Atlantic convoy escort duty beginning in May. By the end of June, MacKenzie completed two Mediterranean voyages, and managed to sink German submarine U-182 with depth charges in May. MacKenzie was then deployed to the battlefront during the invasion of Sicily in July, where she provided protection and fire support for troop transports.
MacKenzie resumed convoy escort duty following the Sicily invasion, and operated between the United States and the Mediterranean until October. Following escort service between the United Kingdom and North America, MacKenzie underwent repairs in England, and then conducted trans-Atlantic escorts until March 1944, when she reported to Naples, Italy. During this deployment, MacKenzie participated in fire support, screening, and anti-submarine patrol during the Anzio assault. MacKenzie also conducted fire support for the invasion of southern France in August.
MacKenzie underwent repair and overhaul at Boston in September, and returned to the Mediterranean Sea in February 1945. She bombarded targets on the border of France and Italy from March through April, and commenced convoy duty in the Strait of Gibraltar by May. In July, MacKenzie returned to the United States to be prepared for duty in the Pacific. When hostilities ended, MacKenzie sailed for Charleston, South Carolina and was decommissioned there in February 1946. She was struck from the Navy list in July 1971 and sunk off Florida in May 1974.
Asbestos Risk on the USS MacKenzie (DD-614)
Because of its usefulness and wide variety of applications, asbestos was found in virtually every corridor and compartment of MacKenzie. Nearly every member of the crew was exposed to the mineral during his service. Mechanics and engineers were exposed to the highest levels. Shipbuilders and dry dock workers had similarly high levels of exposure, as they frequently repaired and refit areas of the ship containing asbestos. When inhaled, asbestos dust promotes tumor formation in the mesothelium and can cause malignant mesothelioma.
Because asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, there are often legal options for those diagnosed with the disease. Navy veterans that served aboard MacKenzie and later became ill can be compensated for their injury. A mesothelioma law firm can review your case and explain your legal rights.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-614.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd614txt.htm) Retrieved 27 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History. USS MacKenzie (DD-614).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/614.htm) Retrieved 27 January 2011.