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USS Terry (DD-513)

The USS Terry (DD-513) was a Fletcher class destroyer in the U.S. Navy and the second ship named in honor of Edward Terry (1839-1882).


Built in Bath, ME, by Bath Iron Works, she was launched in November 1942, and commissioned under the command of Commander George R. Phelan.

Naval History

Following her shakedown off Guantanamo Bay, Terry escorted a convoy to Newfoundland and began antisubmarine operations in the waters off the United States. Terry fought in four major campaigns during World War II in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In the Battle of the Atlantic during April 1943, Terry likely destroyed a German U-boat after dodging a torpedo. Later that month, Terry rescued survivors of a downed U.S. Army bomber and dropped them off at New York. Terry joined Task Force 67 and steamed to Casablanca for repairs and training. From Casablanca, she returned stateside at the Boston Navy Yard and entered dry-dock.

During the Solomon Islands campaign, Terry fired on Japanese ships in “the slot,” and claimed victory over an enemy destroyer. By November, Terry reached Empress Augusta Bay and provided support for the landings at Cape Torokina for the Bougainville assault. She assisted in the final amphibious operation before departing Green Islands in February 1944. She conducted shore bombardment against Japanese positions on New Britain and in Vunapore. Terry assisted in the unobstructed capture of Emirau Island.

Terry engaged the enemy in the Mariana Islands campaign and neutralized enemy strongholds on Tinian and rendered the airfield at Ushi Point inoperative. With Task Group 58.3, in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Terry supported troops that had landed on Guam. After repairs at Pearl Harbor, Terry steamed home to Mare Island Navy Yard for an overhaul.

During the Battle of Iwo Jima, minesweepers were able to clear the approaches to the beaches due to the unrelenting gunfire support Terry provided. Terry took a direct hit near Kitano Point necessitating emergency repairs and medical attention for her crew. Following the war, Terry acted as courier in the waters off Japan.

In April 1974, Terry was struck from the Navy list and was sold to Peru in July for spare parts. Terry received seven battle stars for her service in World War II.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Terry (DD-513)

Because material contaminated with asbestos was found all over Terry, nearly everyone on board risked exposure at some point during their service. In certain instances, a member of the crew would have endured more intense asbestos exposure, particularly if he spent most of his time in the engineering section where asbestos fiber was used in greater abundance, or if he worked as a machinist’s mate, engineer, boilerman, or on damage control parties.

Asbestos-containing materials that are damaged or disturbed, as when Terry was hit off Iwo Jima, can become friable. Such products crumble easily and create very dangerous asbestos dust. Sailors on Terry face an increased exposure risk due to her frequent combat operations.

Many Navy veterans have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. The gravest condition is called mesothelioma, an aggressive and usually terminal cancer. Because asbestos exposure is easily linked to service in the U.S. Navy, there are usually legal options for veterans suffering from asbestos cancer.



American Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Retrieved 19 February 2011

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


January 11, 2017
Jillian McKee

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Tests Immunotherapy Before Surgery

“Last fall, the Baylor College of Medicine Mesothelioma Treatment Center began running a new clinical trial that looks at how to use immunotherapy and surgery together as a more effective way to treat mesothelioma – an extremely rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.”