The USS Yarborough (DD-314) served in the U.S. Navy for about a decade in the early 20th century. She was named for Lieutenant George Hampton Yarborough, Jr., who served in World War I. Yarborough was built as a Clemson-class ship.
Yarborough was laid down in San Francisco, California by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in February 1919, launched in June, and commissioned in December 1920 with Lieutenant Commander C.E. Rosendahl in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Yarborough was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Yarborough underwent preliminary trials in January 1921 and arrived at San Diego in February, and then put in rotating reserve. In April, Yarborough transported Marines from Charleston and Salem to Santa Catalina Island, and collided with a buoy on the return trip, but sustained only minor damage. Yarborough operated mostly out of San Diego in 1922, and visited ports in the Pacific Northwest and California. She participated in anti-submarine screening, torpedo firing, and gunnery exercises.
In February 1923, Yarborough sailed for Magdalena Bay, Mexico, and participated in Fleet Problem I off of Panama with the Battle Fleet. Following repairs and drydock in San Diego, Yarborough returned to Panama to conduct further fleet exercises in January 1924, and operated with the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1), through February. She returned to San Diego in late April and in March 1925, participated in Fleet Problem V off Baja, California, and then was deployed to the Hawaiian Islands for Army and Navy Problem No. 3 in April.
Yarborough visited the South Pacific in July and August 1925, including Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand, before returning to Hawaii in September and then participating in fleet exercises off Central America. In 1927, Yarborough conducted a search for the German steamship Albatross but was unsuccessful, and participated in further fleet exercises until being deployed to Nicaragua in June. Yarborough was stationed at Puerto Cabezas in July and August, and then returned to San Diego.
Yarborough operated as part of Fleet Problem IX in January 1929, between San Diego and the western Panama Canal Zone. Upon return to San Diego that fall, she aided in the reactivation of several ships, and was decommissioned in May 1930. Yarborough was sold for scrap in February 1932.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Yarborough (DD-314)
Most of the crew members serving or doing repairs on Yarborough were most likely exposed to asbestos at some point in their career. The Navy used asbestos widely up until the late 1970s to insulate pipes and boilers as well as to fireproof most compartments aboard the vessels.
Virtually every sailor aboard the ship would have been regularly exposed to asbestos-containing materials regardless of the area he was stationed to work in. A great deal of asbestos-containing material could be found everywhere in dock facilities as well which also put those crewmen and dock workers at risk for on the job exposure. Asbestos material can cause malignant mesothelioma by destroying the mesothelium after it is inhaled.
Legal options are available for veterans suffering with malignant mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Please fill in the request form on this page to receive more information for you or a loved one.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-314.
(http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd314txt.htm) Retrieved 4 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Yarborough (DD-314).
(http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/314.htm) Retrieved 4 January 2011.