USS Patterson (DD-392) was a Bagley-class destroyer constructed for the US Navy. She was the second of three naval vessels to be named in honor of Daniel Todd Patterson, an officer in the US Navy who served in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War and the War of 1812.
Patterson was laid down by the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington on July 23, 1935. Launched on May 6, 1937, she was sponsored by Miss Elizabeth P. Patterson. Commander Francis T. Spellman took command of Patterson on September 22, 1937.
Following commissioning, Patterson visited San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Puget Sound, Hawaii, San Pedro and the Panama Canal as she engaged in training. On December 7, 1941, Patterson was moored at Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack. Patterson was credited with taking out one enemy plane before she started searching for enemy submarines near the harbor’s entrance. Upon returning from patrol on December 28, Patterson rescued 19 survivors from merchant ship Marimi, which had been adrift for several days after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
For several weeks following the war, Patterson’s primary duties involved serving as a convoy escort. On February 20, 1942, Patterson rescued a pilot at Rabual, New Britain before assisting with the destruction of Japanese bases at Salamaua and Lea, New Guinea on March 10.
Following warfare rehearsals with the Expeditionary Task Force in Fiji, Patterson assisted with the landing on Guadalcanal on August 7. Two days later, she was involved with the battle at Savo Island. After spotting the enemy ships and sending out a warning to the other destroyers, Patterson was hit by a 5-inch salvo from an enemy ship. The hit killed 10 men, injured eight and took out her Number 4 gun. Nonetheless, her gunners continued to fire upon the enemy. Following the battle, Patterson assisted with rescue work before heading to Nomea, New Caledonia.
On May 5, 1943, Patterson rescued 19 survivors from SS Fingal, which had been torpedoed. On July 25 of that same year, she assisted with the bombardment of Lambeti Plantation. One month later, while guarding a convoy, Patterson detected an enemy submarine on radar and fired a depth charge. Her crew heard a deep boom that was believed to have been a direct hit on the enemy.
Patterson continued to provide guard duties and to assist with driving off enemy attacks until October 25, 1944, at which time she joined in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. After driving off suicide attacks, she rescued men from damaged carriers and transported them safely to the Caroline Islands. Patterson rescued survivors once again on January 4, 1945 after escort carrier Ommoney Bay was attacked by a kamikaze. Nine days later, she shot down a suicide plane before heading to the Carolines in preparation for the invasion of Iwo Jima. While engaged in battle rehearsals, Patterson rescued 106 survivors from escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea after she was torpedoed on February 21 off Iwo Jima.
Patterson was decommissioned in the New York Naval Shipyard on November 8, 1945. Her name was struck from the Navy list on February 25, 1947 and she was sold for scrap on August 18 of that year. Patterson received 13 battle stars for her service during World War II.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Patterson (DD-392)
Using asbestos fireproofing in the design of marine ships was required by law in the US in the 1930s, after a fire at sea aboard the SS Morro Castle caused the deaths of more than 100 passengers and crew. Patterson, like most Navy ships at the time, made use of asbestos insulation in large amounts in ship's boilers and engine rooms, and for insulation in all parts of the ship. If an asbestos-based product is damaged it can become "friable", which means that fibers can break off and enter the air, where they are inhaled or ingested by sailors and repair workers, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma. The harm done by asbestos occurs when very small particles are inhaled or ingested; they infiltrate the mesothelial lining and sometimes other organs, causing scar tissue in the case of pleural plaques and damage at the DNA level in the case of mesothelioma cancer.
Currently medicine has not yet found a mesothelioma cure, but there are a number of supportive approaches which help to increase survival time and make victims more comfortable, like mesothelioma radiation therapy.
Reliable information about malignant mesothelioma can be found in our mesothelioma information kit. It is available to you free of charge. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send you the packet.Sources
Patterson. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/p3/patterson-ii.htm Retrieved 1 January 2011.