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USS Stribling (DD-867)

The USS Stribling (DD-867) was a Gearing-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy and the second namesake of Admiral Cornelius Kincheloe Stribling (1796-1880).


Built at Staten Island, New York, by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, she was launched in June 1945, and commissioned in September under the command of Commander J. D. Buckley.

Naval History

After her shakedown at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Stribling reported to the Fleet Sonar School at Florida. She spent the majority of her time in the Mediterranean Sea from 1948 to 1953. In 1949, Stribling became the first American ship to call on a Spanish port since the Spanish Civil War. Stribling called on ports in northern Europe with the 6th Fleet during 1950.

In the mid to late 1950’s, Stribling served with the Pacific Fleet in support of the conflict in Korea. With Task Forces 77 and 95, Stribling operated in the Sea of Japan and fulfilled in the Yellow Sea. Stribling also traveled widely during this period, conducting deployments to Egypt, Lebanon, and the Mediterranean.

After 6 years undergoing the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization program at the Charleston Navy Yard, Stribling stood watch during the recovery of astronaut, John Glenn, in 1962, before resuming operations with NATO. Her operations and exercises took her to numerous ports throughout the Middle East. Refitted with a Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter system in 1969, Stribling began her second tour to the Far East where she operated off the Vietnam coast supplying gunfire support and escorting carriers in the combat zone. Stribling cruised along the coast of Syria in the anti-aircraft screen for the 6th Fleet during the Jordanian crisis of 1970.

On 1 July 1976, Stribling was decommissioned and removed from the Naval Vessel Register. In 1980, she was sunk as a target. Stribling was awarded two battle stars and numerous medals, commendations, awards and credits, most of which were for her service in Vietnam.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Stribling (DD-867)

Civilian and naval vessels employed asbestos as an insulating and fireproofing material for applications ship-wide. After decades of common use, medical science discovered that exposure to asbestos was toxic. Use of the mineral was heavily restricted by the late 1970s. Because she was built before asbestos regulations were passed, nearly every section of Stribling was contaminated with asbestos fibers.

When inhaled, asbestos fibers can lead to mesothelioma, an aggressive and often fatal cancer. The exposure risk on Stribling was greatest for those working in engineering areas, where the highest concentration of asbestos was found. Sailors performing damage control and repairs also had a higher than normal risk, as asbestos fibers could easily break off from damaged and worn asbestos products. Because there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, any sailor that served aboard Stribling is potentially at risk for asbestos-related diseases.



Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Retrieved 22 February 2011

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