The USS Timmerman (DD-828) remained on the Navy list for less than a decade in the mid-20th century. She was named for Sergeant Grant F. Timmerman, a United States Marine who participated in the invasion of Tarawa and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for risking his life while combating Japanese forces in the Second World War. Timmerman was a member of the Gearing class of destroyers.
Timmerman was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in October 1945, and was reclassified as EDD-828 in March 1950. The destroyer was launched in May 1951 and commissioned in September 1952 with Commander Edward E. Hoffman in command. Supporting a crew complement of 336, Timmerman was 390 feet, six inches long, with a displacement of 3,460 tons, and armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was driven by a General Electric turbine and a Westinghouse turbine, which enabled Timmerman to travel at a speed of 40-43 knots.
Timmerman was an experimental destroyer with a lightweight design, and was used to test platform experimental engineering equipment under a variety of operating conditions. During the first four years of service, Timmerman operated as a unit of the Operational Development Force, 1st Naval District, Boston. During this service, the destroyer conducted propulsion system tests. Initially commanded by Edward E. Hoffman, Timmerman was later under the helm of Commander Stanley E. Wagenhals.
Timmerman was re-designated as miscellaneous auxiliary ship AG-152 in January 1954. The destroyer was decommissioned in July 1956 at Boston, and then moved to Philadelphia in September as part of the Reserve Fleet. Struck from the Navy list in April 1958, Timmerman was sold for scrap to the Boston Metals Company of Baltimore, Maryland.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Timmerman (DD-828)
Nearly every area of Timmerman could expose crewmen to asbestos. The engine room, boiler rooms, and power plant contained the most asbestos products. Steam conduits running throughout the ship were insulated with asbestos. Pumps and valves were packed with the mineral. Many gaskets were made with asbestos as well.
Machinists’ mates, engineers, firemen, and even gunners had generally higher levels of exposure than sailors performing other duties. Greater exposure to asbestos increases a person's risk of being afflicted with mesothelioma. Because damaged asbestos material creates dust that is easily inhaled, working at a dockyard doing repairs and maintenance on naval vessels also meant much greater risk. The legal system offers options for servicemen injured by maritime asbestos exposure.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-828.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd828txt.htm) Retrieved 19 February 2011.
NavSource Naval History. Timmerman (DD-828).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/828.htm) Retrieved 19 February 2011.