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USS Mervine (DD-489)

The USS Mervine (DD-489) was a destroyer in service with the U.S. Navy during World War II. The second vessel so called, Mervine was named in honor of Rear Admiral William Mervine (1791-1868), who served in both the War of 1812 and the Civil War.


Mervine was laid down in November of 1941 by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Kearny, New Jersey. She was commissioned on June 17, 1942, with Lieutenant Commander S. D. Willingham at the helm.

Naval History

Eventually earning three battle stars for her wartime service, Mervine began her career in the Atlantic. She was initially assigned to assist merchants in the Gulf and West Indian shipping lanes, areas that had endured crushing losses to U-boat activity in the eastern Atlantic. In October, Mervine headed to Norfolk, Virginia, whereupon she joined Task Force 34 and headed out across the ocean. She participated in “Operation Torch,” providing support for the invasion of North Africa. Following a brief patrol period in African coastal waters, she returned to the eastern seaboard and took up escort and guard duties. In July, Mervine returned to the Mediterranean region, participating in the invasion of Sicily and Italy, “Operation Husky.” She cruised in Sicilian waters, providing fire support for the 7th Army’s assault troops.

In May 1945, Mervine was sent to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she was converted to a destroyer-minesweeper and reclassified DMS-31. She was reassigned to the Pacific, and was actually en route when the Japanese officially surrendered. Mervine arrived at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, in September, and she spent the fall conducting minesweeping operations off the coast of China and Japan.

After the war, Mervine continued to operate on the west coast, based in San Diego, California. She served a few escort and training missions out of China in 1948, but most of her work was done off the west coast or out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In May 1949, she was decommissioned and entered the Pacific Fleet Reserve at San Diego with her original designation of DD-489. She was in San Diego through the 1950s until being transferred to the Columbia River Reserve Group and at last to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Mervine was sold for scrap in 1969.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Mervine (DD-489)

Like most ships of this era, the Mervine made extensive use of asbestos insulation and fireproofing. Crewmen working with ship's machinery were more likely to be heavily exposed, as were crewmen assigned to damage control parties. Greater and more regular exposure to asbestos fibers increases an individual’s chance to develop mesothelioma later in life.

Mesothelioma lawyers can provide legal guidance to veterans and civilian workers injured by asbestos aboard the Mervine. Our free mesothelioma information packet discusses the disease, its treatment, and your legal rights. Complete the form on this page and we'll send you a kit.



“Mervine II.” Dictionary of American Fighting Ships.

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