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USS Moody (DD-277)

USS Moody (DD-277)

USS Moody (DD-277) was one of more than 150 Clemson-class destroyers constructed for the US Navy after World War I. She was named in honor of Justice William Henry Moody a politician and jurist who held positions in all three branches of the US government.


Moody was laid down by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation on December 9, 1918 and was launched on June 28, 1919. Commander James D. Wilson took command of Moody on December 10, 1919.

Naval History

Following commissioning, Moody was assigned to the US Pacific Fleet. She operated along the California coast until July 10, 1920, at which time she joined the Alaskan inspection tour of Interior Secretary John B. Payne, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Admiral Hugh Rodman, who was the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. While conducting this cruise, Moody visited nine ports, including Duncan Bay and Juneau.

Following the month-long cruise, which was conducted to search for oil and coal fields while also scouting for potential fleet anchorages, Moody returned to San Diego and resumed operations off the California coast. She operated there until June 15, 1922, at which time she was decommissioned.

Moody was recommissioned on September 27, 1923 with Lieutenant E.A. Zehner in command. She then operated along the Pacific coast for 19 months as part of Destroyer Squadron, Battle Fleet. In May 1925, she participated in fleet exercises in the Hawaiian Island before making a good will visit to Melbourne, Australia as well as to Dunedin and Wellington in New Zealand. Upon her return to Hawaii, Moody resumed her west coast operations until 1927.

In February 1927, Moody participated in tactical maneuvers with the US feet in the Caribbean. She then operated out of Gonaives on Fleet Problem 7 for a brief period of time before heading to New York for repairs.

Moody returned to San Diego on June 25 and remained in service with the Battle Fleet through much of 1929. She was ultimately decommissioned on June 2, 1930 in San Diego, after which she was towed to Mare Island Navy Yard. She was struck from the Navy list on November 3 as part of the London Treaty that called for limiting naval armaments.

While most of her superstructure was sold for scrap, the remains of the former Moody were altered to mimic a German destroyer for the filming of the submarine movie Hell Below. She was later dynamited and scuttled on February 21, 1933, requiring three dynamite charges in all before she sank.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Moody (DD-277)

The installation of asbestos fireproofing in the construction of marine vessels was ordered by law in the United States in the early 1930s, after a deadly fire aboard the SS Morro Castle resulted in enormous loss of life. Moody made use of asbestos insulation heavily, particularly in ship's boilers and engine compartments, and to insulate steam pipes in other parts of the vessel. If asbestos is damaged it can become friable, meaning that the fibers can be broken off and escape into the atmosphere, and then can be breathed in by naval personnel or dockworkers, potentially leading to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos has been known for centuries for its insulation properties; however, it has also been shown to be the only known factor in the development of life-threatening conditions including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Presently medical science has not found a cure for mesothelioma; however, dedicated cancer specialists such as Dr. David Sugarbaker are constantly working to create new treatment modalities. If someone you know has developed pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, you should be advised that you have there are legal options that might be available to you. A professional mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand what they are. In addition we have written a mesothelioma information package with up-to-date information containing legal and medical resources, along with a list of open clinical trials all over the U.S. Simply submit the form on this page and we'll mail you the free packet.



Moody. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center. 27 December 2010.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


January 11, 2017
Jillian McKee

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Tests Immunotherapy Before Surgery

“Last fall, the Baylor College of Medicine Mesothelioma Treatment Center began running a new clinical trial that looks at how to use immunotherapy and surgery together as a more effective way to treat mesothelioma – an extremely rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.”