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USS Taussig (DD-746)

The USS Taussig (DD-746) served in the U.S. Navy for three decades in the middle part of the 20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral Edward David Taussig who served as Captain of the Yard at the New York Navy Yard and commanded the Norfolk Navy Yard and the 5th Naval District. Taussig was commissioned as a member of the Allen M. Sumner class of destroyers.

Construction

Taussig was laid down at Staten Island, New York by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in August 1943, launched in January 1944, and commissioned in May 1944 with Commander Joseph A. Robbins in command. Supporting 336 crew members, Taussig was 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.

Naval History

Taussig trained in the Atlantic before being deployed to the Pacific in September 1944, and then left from Pearl Harbor to Ulithi to join the 3rd Fleet. The destroyer then protected aircraft carriers during the Leyte operation, invasion of Luzon, and other operations in the Philippines. Taussig also participated in the major assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945, where she protected the forces from enemy aircraft and submarines, and then served during the bombardment of Japan before the surrender.

Taussig returned to the United States in October, was deployed to the Chinese coast in 1946, and began duty as a training ship at San Diego in March 1947. In 1950, Taussig ceased training duties and was deployed to the western Pacific during the Korean War, and was overhauled at San Francisco in 1951. Taussig returned to Korea for blockade duty with U.N. forces and conducted shore bombardment on several occasions. The destroyer returned from combat in Korea for the last time in the summer of 1953.

Taussig served on eight more deployments to the western Pacific until January 1962, when the destroyer underwent an FRAM overhaul. She was deployed to the Far East in 1963 and then again for the Vietnam War in 1965, during which she patrolled at Yankee Station and served on the Taiwan Strait Patrol. Taussig ended her duties at Vietnam for a final time in late 1969, and was decommissioned in September 1970. Struck from the Navy list in February 1974, Taussig was transferred to Taiwan as Lo Yang and served there until February 2000. The former Taussig was slated to be preserved as a museum in Taiwan as of March 2004.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Taussig (DD-746)

Asbestos has many properties that made it seem perfect for use in ships, as it is resistant to heat and corrosion-proof. Taussig used the mineral as insulation for steam boilers, pipes, engines, and turbines. Many gaskets used asbestos materials, and pumps and valves often contained asbestos packing. Boilermen, machinists, and engineers faced the greatest exposure risk, but no sailor that served on Taussig was completely safe.

Inhaling asbestos can cause mesothelioma. Compared to the other armed forces, Navy veterans are more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases. This is due in part to the high concentration of asbestos parts on board most Navy ships, the close quarters endured during long stints at sea, and the wear and tear naval vessels suffer during their time afloat. There are legal options for veterans of Taussig that became ill with asbestos cancer.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-746.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd746txt.htm) Retrieved 12 February 2011.

NavSource Naval History. USS Taussig (DD-746).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/746.htm) Retrieved 12 February 2011.

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