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USS Young (DD-580)

The USS Young (DD-580) was commissioned by the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was named for Captain Lucien Young who served during the Spanish-American War. Young was built as a Fletcher-class destroyer.

Construction

Young was laid down at Orange, Texas by the Consolidated Steel Corporation in May 1942, launched in October, and commissioned in July 1943 with Lieutenant Commander George B. Madden in command. Armed with five 5-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 1.1-inch anti-aircraft guns, four 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes, Young carried a crew of 273.

Naval History

Young remained on duty in the Atlantic until being deployed to the Pacific in November 1943. The destroyer arrived at Pearl Harbor in December and was assigned to the 9th Fleet in the Aleutian Islands, where she arrived in January 1944. During this deployment, Young conducted escort and patrol missions, and bombarded Japanese installations in the Kuril Islands.

Following overhaul at San Francisco, California, Young sailed for the Admiralty Islands in October and escorted a supply convoy to Leyte, Philippines during an enemy air attack. Young left Leyte in December and screened a resupply convoy to Mindoro, where the group was attacked by kamikaze aircraft and Young shot down five enemy planes. In January 1945, Young participated in the invasion of Luzon and then operated at Subic and Manila Bays in February.

Young supported Army troop landings at Mindanao in April and then continued patrol operations through much of May. Following an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard in June, Young arrived at Hawaii after the war had ended, and then sailed for the east coast of the United States in September. Decommissioned in January 1947 at Charleston, South Carolina, Young remained in reserve until being struck from the Navy list in May 1968. The destroyer was sunk off Virginia in April 1970.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Young (DD-580)

Most personnel serving on or repairing Young were exposed to asbestos. The U.S. Navy used asbestos as a heat and electrical insulator and to fireproof equipment until the late 1970s. The wide variety of applications for asbestos fibers meant the mineral was found in almost every compartment of Young and ships like her. Asbestos has been shown to cause mesothelioma and other serious illnesses.

Sources

Sources

Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-580.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd580txt.htm

NavSource Naval History. USS Young (DD-580).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/580.htm

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