USS Percival (DD-298) was one of 156 Clemson-class destroyers to be constructed for the U.S. Navy after World War I. She was the first of two ships to be named in honor of John Percival, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the quasi-war with France, the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War.
Percival was launched by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in San Francisco, California on December 5, 1918. She was sponsored by Miss Eleanor Wartsbaugh. Commander Raymond A. Spruance took command of Percival on March 1, 1920. As was the case with all Clemson-class destroyers, Percival was capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 knots.
Following trials, which took place off the California coast, Percival was assigned to the Squadron 4 Flotilla of the Cruiser Destroyer Force Pacific operating out of her base in San Diego, California.
On September 8, 1923, Percival was involved in what was known as the Honda Point Disaster. The incident occurred when the lead ship of her fleet was misguided due to heavy fog. As a result, Percival and the other 8 ships in her fleet were set aground. Percival was one of only two ships to make it through the incident with minor damage. The other ships were abandoned.
A few days following the Honda Point Disaster, Percival served as the flagship for Squadron 11. For the next several years, she made annual deployments for fleet problems with the Pacific Battle Fleet.
Percival was decommissioned on April 26, 1930 and was scrapped the following year.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Percival (DD-298)
Asbestos on pre-1930s ship was largely found in engineering areas. Percival’s Boiler rooms, engine rooms, turbines, generators, pumps and heavy machinery all used asbestos products as insulation and fireproofing. Sailors working in and around those areas and systems had the greatest exposure to the mineral, and consequently, the greatest risk for mesothelioma. Many Navy veterans have suffered asbestos-related illnesses. If your loved one was amongst them, an asbestos attorney can discuss your legal options.Sources
Percival. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.