The USS Maury was a Wickes-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy during World War I and continued her service through September 1929. She was the first ship to carry this name. She was named in honor of Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) an officer in the U.S. Navy, an American astronomer, historian, oceanographer, meteorologist, cartographer, author, geologist and educator.
In May 1918, Maury was laid down at Quincy, Massachusetts, by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company. Completed in only two months, Maury was launched in July 1918, and commissioned the following September under the command of Lieutenant Commander John H. Newton.
After her east coast shakedown, Maury stood out from New York City in November 1918 to escort a convoy bound for France. She left the convoy at the Azores and continued to Gibraltar, arriving by the end of the month. Maury patrolled the Mediterranean for a little over four months before reporting to the Adriatic Detachment at Venice in February 1919. Over the following five months, Maury participated in the squadron’s peacekeeping duties in the Adriatic.
In July 1919, Maury returned to New York where she spent three months before departing for Philadelphia where she remained until April 1920, while undergoing an overhaul. Maury was redesignated as light mine layer DM-5 and reported before reporting for duty to Mine Squadron I at Gloucester, MA in July 1921.
Maury spent the next seven years operating off the east coast except in 1925 when she sailed to the Caribbean and later to the Pacific for maneuvers that involved protective screening, seizing and occupying an unfortified anchorage in enemy waters and fueling at sea.
After a winter deployment off Cuba, Maury arrived at Philadelphia in September 1929 and was decommissioned in March 1930. She was struck from the Naval Register on 22 October 1931 and sold for scrap to the Boston Iron & Metal Company, of Baltimore, Maryland in May 1934.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Maury (DD-100)
All crewmen serving or doing repairs on Maury were probably exposed to asbestos-containing materials to some extent. Certain occupations suffered from a higher level of asbestos exposure however. For example, crewmen laboring in the engine room on heavy machinery, dealing with fire, or conducting repairs were more likely to be exposed to asbestos. Dock and shipyard workers, whether working on a new ship or modifying or repairing damage to an existing vessel, were also extensively exposed to asbestos fibers in dangerous quantities. Immediate family members of repair and shipyard workers also were at risk of being exposed to asbestos from the fibers that were brought home on work clothes, shoes and hair at the end of the workday.
The development of mesothelioma disease is known to be strongly associated with the level of asbestos exposure as well as the duration of exposure. Individuals who worked daily with damaged asbestos fibers over a long period of time are at much greater risk of developing mesothelioma than sailors who were mildly exposed over the same time period, or who experienced high levels of exposure over a shorter time period. Despite this, no level of asbestos exposure is thought to be risk free, and even navy veterans and shipyard workers who sustained lower levels of exposure may develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.