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USS Shannon (DD-737)

The USS Shannon (DD-737) remained on the Navy list for over two and a half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Colonel Harold D. Shannon who served in the First and Second World Wars. Shannon was a member of the Allen M. Sumner class of naval ships.

Construction

Shannon was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in February 1944, launched in June, and commissioned in September with Commander E. L. Foster in command. Armed with ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, Shannon carried a crew of 336 and was 376 feet, six inches long.

Naval History

Shannon sailed to Norfolk, Virginia in October 1944 after serving as an escort for convoy GUS-54. Following yard work, Shannon was deployed to the Pacific and at Hawaii, was designated as the flagship of Mine Division 7 and a unit of Task Force 51. The destroyer performed anti-submarine patrols at Iwo Jima in February 1945, and returned there in early March to provide fire support for onshore troops. Shannon then left for Ulithi and supported the invasion of Okinawa, where she performed screening duties for other ships as well as patrols and radar picket duty until mid-June.

Shannon protected minesweeping vessels off Okinawa and the East China Sea until the end of July, and performed the same duties in the region until the war ended. The destroyer then served during mine clearing operations off Korea and then off Japan. In October, Shannon sailed back to the United States and joined the Atlantic Fleet.

In April 1946, Shannon reported to Chesapeake Bay and operated under Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic and Commander, Submarine Force into June. Shannon then reported to Charleston, South Carolina and served with Minesweeper Division 2. With a cruise to Liberia in between, Shannon operated out of Charleston until 1948 and then served with Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet for the next seven years. Shannon was deployed to the Mediterranean from September 1950 to January 1951, and then joined the Charleston Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet in July 1955. Decommissioned in October, Shannon was reclassified as MMD-25 in 1968 and was struck from the Navy list in November 1970. She then was sold for scrap to the Boston Metals Company in 1973.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Shannon (DD-737)

Fire safety regulations in the 1930s called for more effective fire suppression systems aboard ships. To satisfy the requirements, pumps, gaskets, sealants, paints, insulation, and many other products were made with asbestos. The mineral was used until the late 1970’s, when the health risk posed by asbestos became impossible to ignore.

When inhaled, asbestos damages the mesothelial tissues and may produce pleural mesothelioma. Working in proximity to damaged asbestos or machinery damaged in battle exposed Shannon's sailors and shipyard workers to more dangerous levels of asbestos than the levels dealt with in the ordinary course of duty. A mesothelioma lawyer can provide legal guidance to former Navy personnel diagnosed with asbestos-related illness.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-737.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd737txt.htm) Retrieved 11 February 2011.

NavSource Naval History. USS Shannon (DD-737).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/737.htm) Retrieved 11 February 2011.

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