The USS Roe (DD-24) served in the US Navy during the second decade of the 20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Francis A. Roe, who was noted for his gallantry against Confederate ships in the Civil War, and served as Governor of the Naval Asylum in Philadelphia. Roe was built as a Paulding-class ship.
In January 1909, the 742-ton Roe was laid down in Newport News by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company, and was launched in July. She was commissioned in 1910 with Lieutenant C.H. Woodward in command. Roe served as plane guard for the USS Birmingham, the first warship from which an airplane took off, in November 1910, and was armed with five three-inch guns and six 18-inch torpedo tubes.
Roe conducted routine exercises in Norfolk, Virginia until December 1910, and operated in the Gulf of Mexico, mid-Atlantic and southern New England, and Caribbean. In November 1913, she was placed in reserve at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was assigned to the Reserve Torpedo Flotilla, and rotated between reserve and active duty.
After receiving reduced complement status in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 1915, Roe returned to commissioned status in March 1917, and was assigned to Squadron 2, Division 5, Patrol Force. She helped prevent the destruction or escape of German merchant ships at Wilmington, North Carolina, and sent an armed guard aboard Hohenfelde, when the United States entered World War I.
Roe conducted antisubmarine patrols at Newport, Rhode Island, and was given escort assignments, and in November 1917, reported to France for coastal patrol and escort duty. She then sailed to New York and on to Charleston in 1918, and in December 1919 was decommissioned in Philadelphia.
Assigned to the Reserve Fleet, Roe was redesignated in July 1920 and transferred to the Treasury Department, and was operated by the Coast Guard from June 1924 to October 1930. She was stricken from the Navy list in June 1934, and under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, was sold for scrap.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Roe (DD-24)
The USS Roe made frequent use of asbestos-containing materials, especially in engine and boiler rooms, but also to insulate steam pipes, fireproof mess halls, and in pumps, gaskets, and packing materials. The high concentration of asbestos and cramped quarters aboard destroyers of this era means that sailors on the Roe faced a significantly greater risk of developing mesothelioma.
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NavSource Naval History, USS Roe (DD-24).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/024.htm Retrieved 16 December 2010
Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-r/dd24.htm Retrieved 16 December 2010
Tin Can Sailors, USS Roe (DD-24), Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.destroyers.org/DANFS/h-DD-24.htm Updated 1981. Retrieved 16 December 2010