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USS Shaw (DD-68)

USS Shaw (DD-68)

USS Shaw (DD-68) was a Sampson-class destroyer with the US Navy during World War I.


Shaw was laid down by the Mare Island Navy Yard on February 7, 1916. She was sponsored by Mrs. Virginia Kemper Lynch Millard and was launched on December 9, 1916. Lieutenant Commander Milton S. Davis took command of Shaw on April 9, 1917.

Naval History

Shaw arrived for duty in New York on June 10, 1917. One week later, she joined Group 4 as it escorted the Expeditionary Force from the United States to France. After being fueled at sea by a tanker, the convoy arrived at Quiberon Bay in France on July 1. On the 4th of July, Shaw set course for Cobh, Ireland, where she began patrol and convoy escort duty of eastbound and westbound ships through dangerous submarine zones around Ireland and Great Britain. Although Shaw served most of this duty without incident, she did receive an SOS call from the American transport Covington on July 1, 1918 after the ship had been torpedoed. Upon arrival, she found that the survivors had already been removed and Covington had been taken undertow. On September 25 that same year, a submarine attacked one of the ships in Shaw’s convoy, but it was not damaged.

While escorting Aquitania on October 9, 1918, Shaw’s rudder became jammed while completing a zigzag motion. As a result of Shaw’s inability to maneuver properly, Aquitania struck her and cut off 90 feet of her bow. The accident also mangled Shaw’s bridge and set her on fire. Although the crew managed to bring the damage under control, 12 men died from the accident. The remaining 21-man skeleton crew managed to reach port, which was 40 miles away, without assistance. After undergoing repair in Portsmouth , England, Shaw set sail to the United States on May 29, 1919. She arrived in New York in June before being moved to the Philadelphia Navy Yard in October. Here, she joined the reserve destroyer group before being decommissioned on June 21, 1922.

On March 25, 1926, Shaw was struck from the Navy list and was transferred to the Coast Guard to assist with the enforcement of Prohibition as part of the Rum Patrol. She was reinstated to the Navy list on June 30, 1933 before her name was canceled four months layer. She was struck again from the Navy list on July 5, 1934 before being sold to Michael Plynn, Inc. in Brooklyn, New York for scrapping on August 22, 1934.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Shaw (DD-68)

Navy ships like Shaw made heavy use of asbestos products, especially in engines and engineering rooms, and for insulation all over the vessel. Pumps, gaskets, pipefittings, and even rope often contained the dangerous mineral. Sailors that served aboard the Shaw face a significantly greater chance of contracting mesothelioma as a result of their service.

Mesothelioma is caused when asbestos fibers enter the body and cause tissue damage in the mesothelium, a thin lining of cells that surrounds and protects internal organs. It is an aggressive and deadly cancer, and there is no known cure. If you or a loved one suffered mesothelioma after serving on the USS Shaw, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. To find out about your legal rights, please fill out the form on this page. We'll send a completely free mesothelioma information packet that explains more about the disease and your medical and legal options.



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Retrieved 14 December 2010

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