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USS Stringham (DD-83)

The USS Stringham (DD-83) served in World War I as a Wickes-class destroyer and again in World War II as a High Speed Transport (APD-6). She was the second ship named after Silas Horton Stringham (1798-1876), an admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Construction

In September of 1917, Stringham was laid down at Quincy, Massachusetts, by the Fore River Shipbuilding Company. The completed vessel was launched a little over six months later in March 1918. Stringham was commissioned under the command of Commander N.E. Nichols the following July.

Naval History

Throughout World War I, Stringham was assigned to convoy escort and antisubmarine duty. After returning the United States in 1919, Stringham was assigned to Destroyer Division 6 of the Atlantic Fleet Destroyer Force. From December 1919 to June 1920 she was in reduced commission. Aside from this, Stringham remained fully active with the fleet until the middle of 1922. In July 1920, when the modern system of alpha-numeric hull numbers was implemented, Stringham was redesignated DD-83. She was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in early June.

In August 1940 Stringham was redesignated APD-6 after she was converted to a high-speed transport at the Norfolk Navy Yard and recommissioned in December 1940. Stringham escorted convoys along the east coast bases in the Caribbean. In August 1942, she embarked on numerous voyages to Guadalcanal where she replenished supplies to the marines who were facing an uncertain fate along the beachhead. Although unconfirmed, she may have sunk an enemy submarine after dodging a torpedo that missed her stern. Stringham continued running supplies and fortifications in the Solomons until early October and returned to the California coast. In June 1944, Stringham began transporting marines to Saipan, and in March 1945 she joined the southern defense group and fought for Okinawa. She survived two kamikaze attacks the following April. Shortly after, Stringham rendered assistance to and escorted the hospital ship Comfort, which had sustained damage from by a Japanese kamikaze. While at Guam, Stringham was rammed by La Valletteand sustained damage on her starboard side. In June 1945 Stringhamentered San Diego for repairs and converted back to a destroyer. Stringham was decommissioned in November 1945 in Philadelphia where she was scrapped in March 1946. She was awarded nine battle stars for World War II service.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Stringham (DD-83)

Asbestos insulation has been extensively used in industrial and factory workplaces since the late 19th century. Beginning in the early 20th century, asbestos was employed widely aboard maritime vessels like Stringhamto protect the ship’s equipment from the high heat of operation. For many years warships used asbestos materials as a fire-retardant insulation.

Certain compartments on board the vessel contained engine machinery that required more fireproofing and corresponding higher amounts of asbestos. The engineering and boiler areas on Stringham employed asbestos-containing materials widely to insulate conduits, to fireproof steam boilers, and to insulate parts of the ship's engines and turbines. Asbestos packing was present inside pumps and valves, and asbestos gaskets were used in machinery ship-wide. Whether a crew member spent his days in the boiler rooms and engineering sections or in sections with no machinery at all, he or she would likely have been exposed to asbestos materials.

When inhaled, tiny asbestos particles become stuck in the respiratory tract and may eventually cause the development of malignant mesothelioma. In addition to malignant mesothelioma, inhalation of asbestos is known to cause several other diseases such as lung cancer. Legal options exist for those who have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Please fill out the form on this page to learn more.

Sources

Sources

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s19/stringham-ii.htm Retrieved December 21, 2010.

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