The USS Preston (DD-19) served in the US Navy during the second decade of the 20th century. She was named for Lieutenant Samuel W. Preston, who was killed in action during the assault on Fort Fisher, North Carolina in 1865. Preston was one of five Smith-class destroyers built by the U.S. Navy.
The 700-ton Preston was laid down by New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey, in April 1908, and then launched and commissioned in 1909, with Lieutenant Commander G.C. Day in command. Preston was 293 feet in overall length and carried a crew of 89. Like other Smith-class ships, she was coal-burning with a fuel capacity of 298 tons of coal, and could reach a speed of 28 knots. Her armament included five three-inch rapid-fire guns and three 18-inch torpedo tubes.
Preston was assigned to Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet and operated along the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean Sea. During this deployment she conducted peacetime patrols as well as various individual, squadron, and fleet exercises.
Preston conducted neutrality patrols to deter German submarines before the United States entered World War I, and docked in New York in April 1917. She then sailed from New York to Boston and conducted patrol duties until May 1917 as part of Destroyer Force, Atlantic. In July, Preston sailed east and was assigned to similar duties off the Azores between August and October.
In October 1917, Preston conducted patrol and escort duties along the French coast until the November 1918 Armistice. She sailed for the United States in December and arrived at Charleston, South Carolina in January 1919, and then later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Preston was decommissioned in July, her name was struck from the Navy List in September, and in November she was sold to the T. A. Scott Company of New London, Connecticut.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Preston (DD-19)
The Preston deployed asbestos heavily in boilers and engineering rooms, and for insulation all over the vessel. When asbestos is inhaled, the fibers become lodged in the mesothelium, a thin body of cells which surrounds and protects the body's interior organs, and over time inflammation from the fibers can cause mesothelioma.
Even though all of the armed services utilized asbestos-containing products in their facilities and vehicles, exposure was most common on ships and in drydock. Doctors find many more navy mesothelioma patients than in any other branch of the military. Accurate information on mesothelioma is not always easy to find, so we've published a mesothelioma guide with up-to-date information on legal options and treatment, and a list of open clinical trials all over the US. Just fill in the form on this page and we'll send you your kit, at no charge to you.Sources
NavSource Naval History, USS Preston (DD-19).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/019.htm Retrieved 15 December 2010
Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-p/dd19.htm Retrieved 15 December 2010
Tin Can Sailors, USS Preston (DD-19), Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.destroyers.org/DANFS/h-DD-19.htm Updated 1981. Retrieved 15 December 2010
Haze Gray & Underway, The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd19txt.htm Retrieved 15 December 2010