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USS Turner Joy (DD-951)

The USS Turner Joy (DD-951) remained on the Navy list for over three decades in the mid-to-late 20th century. She was named for Admiral C. Turner Joy who served in World War I and World War II. Turner Joy was commissioned as a Forrest Sherman class naval ship.

Construction

Turner Joy was laid down at Seattle, Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company in September 1957, launched in May 1958, and commissioned in August 1959 with Commander Ralph S. Wentworth, Jr., in command. Carrying a crew of 324, Turner Joy was armed with four 21-inch torpedo tubes, six 12.75-inch anti-submarine torpedo tubes, four three-inch rapid fire guns, and two anti-submarine mortars.

Naval History

Turner Joy began her naval service in early 1960 as flagship of Destroyer Squadron 13 and Destroyer Division 131, and also served as part of an anti-submarine warfare task group built around aircraft carrier Hornet. In May, Turner Joy sailed for the western Pacific where she operated in the Mariana Islands and served on the Taiwan Strait Patrol. Turner Joy returned to Long Beach, California in November and remained on the west coast of 18 months.

Turner Joy assumed flagship status of Destroyer Division 191 and Destroyer Squadron 19 in October 1961 and sailed to Hawaii for fleet exercises and then served in the Far East. The destroyer returned there in 1964 during the Vietnam War to patrol the Vietnamese coast and operate in the Gulf of Tonkin, and was deployed to the region again later in the year for service on Yankee Station.

Turner Joy arrived in the United States in February and was overhauled at Long Beach, California. West coast exercises commenced until Turner Joy returned to duty off Vietnam in December 1966. Turner Joy operated in the Far East until she returned to the California coast in September 1967. The destroyer served on three more tours of Vietnam over the next few years and then was extensively overhauled in 1972.

Turner Joy helped clear American mines in the South China Sea in 1973 and 1974, and then operated in the Philippines before returning home. She served off California into 1975 but reported for duty in the Indian Ocean in September. Turner Joy returned to San Diego in April 1976 and spent much of 1977 and 1978 in port for overhauls and repairs. She was decommissioned in November 1982, struck from the Navy list in February 1990, and then preserved as a memorial at Bremerton, Washington.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Turner Joy (DD-951)

Since asbestos was used in so many applications, the dangerous fibers could be found in almost every compartment on naval vessels. Some ship areas used asbestos-containing material more widely than others. The engineering and power plant compartments of Turner Joy employed asbestos extensively to insulate steam pipes, to line boilers, and to protect components of the ship's engines and power plant.

Sailors laboring in the engineering sections, handling machinery, fighting fires, and performing damage control duties were considerably more likely to inhale asbestos fibers. It is generally believed that sustained exposure to asbestos is more likely to cause illness later in life. However, no level of exposure is safe. Even those that suffered only second-hand exposure have sometimes developed mesothelioma. There are legal options for most people injured by asbestos.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-951.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd951txt.htm) Retrieved 26 February 2011.

NavSource Naval History. USS Turner Joy (DD-951).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/951.htm) Retrieved 26 February 2011.

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