The USS Schroeder (DD-501), named for Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder (1849-1922), was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Built in Kearny, New Jersey, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Schroeder was launched in November 1942, and commissioned in January 1943, under the command of Commander J. T. Bowers.
Schroeder screened two aircraft carriers on shakedown cruises and escorted a convoy to Casablanca before sailing to the Pacific. Following an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard, California, Schroeder steamed to Pearl Harbor where she joined Destroyer Squadron 25 in July 1943. Schroeder participated in the attacks on Marcus Island and Wake Island then cruised to New Hebrides Island to train with amphibious forces. In November, she joined the Gilbert Islands invasion force and shelled Tarawa Atoll. From the lagoon, Schroeder supplied gunfire support for the landing troops. Damaged by scraping a coral reef, Schroeder underwent repairs at Pearl Harbor.
In early 1944, Schroeder provided escort service and gunfire support for the attacks on Kwajalein Island, the Marshall Islands, Maloelap, Wotje Atolls, and New Ireland. From April through October, Schroeder defended a convoy to Guadalcanal and continued providing escort service for numerous fleets throughout New Guinea waters. She bombarded enemy strongholds at Hollandia, New Guinea, and the Tumon region of Guam, before retiring to San Francisco for an overhaul.
In February 1945, Schroeder united with Task Force 58 and assisted in assaults on airfields, aircraft factories, and shipping in Tokyo waters. In April, Schroeder and Murray provided support for the landing at Ie Shima, Okinawa. Shortly after the assault, Schroeder shelled Minami Daito Shima with Destroyer Division 49. After a two week rest in Ulithi during May, Schroeder rejoined Task Force 58 and launched bombing and photographic missions at Kyūshū. In July, the task force launched fierce attacks in the Tokyo-Yokohama area.
After the war, Schroeder was dispatched to the east coast and prepared for deactivation at the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina. Schroeder was decommissioned in April 1946, and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet where she remained until October 1972 when she was struck from the Navy List. She was sold for scrap to Southern Materials Company, Ltd., in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January 1974.
Schroeder received 10 battle stars for World War II service.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Schroeder (DD-501)
Because of its extraordinary versatility, asbestos was used in products found in virtually every corridor and compartment on a ship, including insulation, gaskets, and pump and valve packing. Asbestos-based insulation was employed in higher quantities in some compartments of the ship. The engineering and boiler areas aboard Schroeder used asbestos in large amounts as insulation for pipes, to fireproof ship's boilers, and to fireproof parts of the ship's motors and turbines.
The incidence of mesothelioma is correlated strongly with the quantity of exposure and the duration spent exposed. If a naval vessel is damaged by enemy fire, engineering areas might be damaged, releasing hazardous asbestos dust. The damage sustained by Schroeder likely increased the asbestos risk to her crew. As exposure to asbestos is the primary known source of malignant mesothelioma and asbestos-related conditions, there are usually legal options for mesothelioma victims who have developed these medical problems.Sources
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships