The USS Maddox (DD-731) served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades in the mid-20th century before being transferred to Taiwan. She was named for Captain William A. T. Maddox who served with the United States Marine Corps during the Creek and Seminole Wars and the Mexican War. Maddox was built as an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer.
Maddox was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in October 1943, launched in March 1944, and commissioned in June with Commander James S. Willis in command. Carrying a crew of 336, Maddox was 376 feet, six inches long and armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Maddox arrived for duty at Ulithi in October 1944 and joined Task Group 38.1 to protect aircraft carriers. Her first combat duties took place at the Mindoro and Luzon invasions in the Philippines from November 1944 through January 1945. During this deployment, Maddox screened carriers and served picket duty in the South China Sea as well as the East China Sea. Maddox served picket duty off Japan beginning in March. She also served during the Okinawa operation and conducted patrols off Japan until late-September.
Maddox remained at San Diego until February 1946, followed by another deployment to the Far East, and then was assigned to reservist training at San Diego from March 1947 until May 1950. Maddox was then deployed on three tours of duty during the Korean War, the first of which began in June 1950. During these deployments, she provided plane guard and anti-submarine screen services, while on the second tour Maddox was assigned to coastal blockade and bombardment duties. Maddox served with the Taiwan Patrol Force on the 3rd deployment, and returned to Long Beach in late-August 1953.
Maddox served on six additional deployments to the Far East through March 1962, and after operating on the west coast for two years, sailed for South Vietnam in March 1964 to conduct patrols. The destroyer also performed combat and carrier screening, and returned from Vietnam for the last time in December 1965. Maddox then resumed training duties off California before making three more trips to the Far East. Decommissioned and struck from the Navy list in 1972, Maddox was transferred to Taiwan as Po Yang and served there until 1985.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Maddox (DD-731)
Because of its usefulness and variety of applications, asbestos products were found in almost every corridor and compartment on Maddox. No matter what the job, sailing on a Navy vessel from this era meant asbestos exposure to a greater or lesser extent. Sailors assigned to the engineering section, where asbestos products were used in greater abundance, were more likely to suffer harmful exposure. The dust released by worn or damaged asbestos products has been shown to cause serious and often deadly diseases like mesothelioma.
Navy veterans diagnosed with asbestos disease have legal options. A knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer can examine your case and explain your rights. Experience with this area of law is key to achieving the maximum possible compensation for you and your family. Our free mesothelioma information packet has more details. Simply fill out the form on this page and we’ll send you one right away.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-731.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd731txt.htm) Retrieved 11 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. USS Maddox (DD-731).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/731.htm) Retrieved 11 February 2011.