The USS Zane (DD-337) served in the US Navy for two and a half decades in the early 20th century. She was named for Lieutenant Randolph Talcott Zane who served with the Marine Corps in World War I. Zane was laid down as a Clemson-class ship.
Zane was laid down by Mare Island Navy Yard in January 1919, launched in August, and commissioned in February 1921 with Lieutenant Commander P. Seymour in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Zane was 314 feet, five inches long and was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Zane operated along the west coast in June 1921 and joined Destroyer Division 24 at Mare Island Navy Yard, and was then deployed to the Philippines in August for routine fleet activities. In June 1922, Zane sailed for China and was rammed by Chinese ship Tse Kiang in the Whangpoo River, and sustained minor damage. Zane reached Chefoo in August and returned to the west coast, where she was decommissioned at San Diego in February 1923.
Zane was re-commissioned in February 1930 and was assigned to the Battle Force. She participated in fleet problems and exercises until being converted into high-speed minesweeper DMS-14 in November 1940. On December 7, 1941, Zane was anchored at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack but was not damaged by enemy aircraft. She immediately departed and conducted minesweeping patrols offshore and then anti-submarine patrols at sea.
In August 1942, Zane was deployed to the Solomon Islands and served in places like Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Sealark Channel, where she was struck by enemy fire which killed three men onboard. Zane was repaired at Sydney, Australia in January 1943 and conducted a rescue mission for Peter H. Burnett to find the steamship abandoned, but rescued 14 men and 12 crew members on lifeboats. She then towed the steamship back to Sydney.
Zane delivered troops during the assault on and occupation of New Georgia, and then grounded on rocks and had to be pulled free and towed back to Tulagi for repairs. Permanent repairs were made at Mare Island Navy Yard by September 1943, and Zane served in Hawaii until January 1944. Zane participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands as an escort, and then conducted towing and escort duties throughout the Marianas and Philippines until the end of World War II. She was decommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia in November 1945, and sold for scrap to the Luria Brothers and Company, Inc. in October 1946.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Zane (DD-337)
The use of asbestos in the construction of marine ships was mandated by Congress in the 1930s, after a fire at sea on a luxury liner killed 137 people. Ships like Zane deployed asbestos insulation frequently in engines and engineering compartments, and for fireproofing all through the ship. When asbestos insulation is worn or damaged it becomes "friable", meaning that individual asbestos fibers can be broken off and escape into the air, and then are breathed in by sailors or dockworkers, increasing the chances of contracting mesothelioma. Asbestos has long been known for its fireproofing properties; however, it was also proven to be the primary cause of serious conditions including "miner's lung" and pleural mesothelioma.
As of this writing, there is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are supportive approaches, such as mesothelioma chemotherapy, which can increase life expectancy and make those diagnosed with it more comfortable. If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. A professional mesothelioma lawyer can assess your situation and advise you accordingly. We've also produced a mesothelioma information package with information on legal options and treatment choices, along with a list of mesothelioma clinics nationwide. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send you a free kit.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-337.
http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/destroy/dd337txt.htm Retrieved 6 January 2011.
NavSource Naval History, USS Zane (DD-337).
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/337.htm Retrieved 6 January 2011.