The USS Marshall (DD-676) served in the U.S. Navy in the mid-20th century and was named for Lieutenant Commander Thomas Worth Marshall, Jr., who was killed in action aboard USS Jacob Jones in February 1942. Marshall was commissioned as a Fletcher-class naval vessel.
Marshall was laid down at Kearny, New Jersey by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in April 1943, launched in August, and commissioned in October with Lieutenant Commander Sinclair B. Wright in command. Carrying a crew of 273, Marshall was armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1 inch anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Marshall escorted Iowa, with President Roosevelt aboard, to Iran in December 1943 before sailing to Pearl Harbor in January 1944. The destroyer remained in port until mid-March to escort returning battleships damaged in combat, and then was assigned to providing anti-submarine protection for aircraft carriers at Palau, Woleai, Hollandia, Truck, as well as Wake and Marcus Islands. Marshall also supported amphibious operations in the Mariana Islands and participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in late-May, where she downed two enemy planes. Her service in the Marianas continued until mid-August.
Marshall underwent upkeep at Eniwetok and then reported for duty in the Palau Islands in late-August. Following strikes on Okinawa and Formosa, Marshall moved with the group to intercept Japanese forces retreating from Leyte Gulf, and served in the Philippines until the end of 1944. Marshall served off the coast of China and operated with carriers for strikes on Tokyo in February, and defended the troop landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. She took on 212 survivors when Franklin was hit and escorted the ship to Ulithi in March. Marshall was on reserve at San Diego from December until April 1951.
In August 1951, Marshall served off Japan once again to screen aircraft carriers during the Korean War. Overhauled at San Diego in March 1952, Marshall served another tour off Korea from October until May 1953. The destroyer was deployed with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific several more times, and alternated this with service off the west coast. From 1964 on, she served as a naval reserve training ship at Tacoma, Washington, was struck from the Navy list in July 1969, and sold for scrap to Zidell Explorations, Inc. in July 1970.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Marshall (DD-676)
New regulations regarding fire safety were enacted in the 1930s, calling for more effective fire suppression systems on board naval ships. The Navy responded to the new rules by increasing their use of asbestos. The dangerous mineral was deployed on nearly every U.S. Navy ship until the late 1970s. Nearly every area on board Marshall contained asbestos to some extent.
Dock and yard workers were also heavily exposed to asbestos-containing materials. Repairing and refitting ships required workers to handle existing asbestos parts. Oftentimes, those parts were worn or damaged, allowing individual asbestos fibers to break free. Exposure to those airborne fibers can result in mesothelioma, a cancer that affects a thin membrane called the mesothelium that buffers internal organs.
The legal system offers options for those sailors and dockworkers that discover they have malignant mesothelioma. To aid veterans with a mesothelioma diagnosis understand their options, we have compiled a mesothelioma information kit to provide useful information about these choices. Please take a minute to complete the web form on this page and we'll mail you a kit, at no cost or obligation.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-676.
NavSource Naval History. USS Marshall (DD-676)