Resources for Patients and their Families

USS Zeilin (DD-313)

USS Zeilin (DD-313)

The USS Zeilin (DD-313) served in the US Navy for a decade in the early 20th century. She was named for Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin who served with the Marine Corps in the Mexican War and the Civil War, and who became the Marine Corps’ first general officer in 1874. Zeilin was designed as a Clemson-class destroyer.


Zeilin was laid down in San Francisco, California by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in February 1919, launched in May, and commissioned in December 1920 with Lieutenant Commander James D. Moore in command. Carrying a crew of 114, Zeilin was armed with four 4-inch rapid-fire guns, one three-inch anti-aircraft gun, and twelve 21-inch torpedo tubes. She was 314 feet, five inches long.

As a Clemson-class destroyer, Zeilin had a normal displacement of 1,215 tons. She was powered by four boilers and two Westinghouse geared turbines that provided 27,600 horsepower. Zeilin could travel at a cruising speed of 35 knots.

Naval History

Zeilin was commissioned in December 1920 at the Mare Island Navy Yard and was assigned to Division 33, Squadron 11, Destroyers, Battle Force in San Diego, California. She continued that duty for nine years, participating in fleet maneuvers and training.

In 1923, Lieutenant Commander Henry Gilbert Shonerd took command of Zeilin. Zeilin collided with Henderson in Puget Sound, Washington in July 1923, and was repaired. Following repairs, Zeilin continued operating with the Battle Force Destroyers, and then was decommissioned at San Diego in January 1930, struck from the Navy list in July, and then broken up for scrap by the Navy.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Zeilin (DD-313)

The installation of asbestos fireproofing in the construction of marine vessels was required by law in the United States in the 1930s, after a fire at sea on a luxury liner resulted in enormous loss of life. Zeilin, like most Navy ships at the time, utilized asbestos in large quantities around boilers and engineering rooms, and for insulation in the other sections of the ship. When an asbestos-based product is damaged it can become "friable", which means that individual fibers can break off and escape into the atmosphere, where they can be breathed in by naval personnel or shipfitters, increasing the odds of developing mesothelioma. The harm caused by asbestos fibers occurs when microscopic fibers are inhaled; they infiltrate the respiratory system and occasionally other organs, leading to development of scar tissue in the case of pleural plaques and damage at the cellular level in the case of malignant mesothelioma.

Even with modern medical help, the survival rate of mesothelioma patients is quite low. However, treatments, including radiation for mesothelioma, can provide some hope and may increase survival time. For information about mesothelioma treatment and more request our mesothelioma information packet. It is filled with up-to-date information on legal and treatment options for patients, as well as a list of open clinical trials nationwide. All you have to do is complete the form on this page and we will send you the packet at no charge.



Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-313. Retrieved 3 January 2011.

NavSource Naval History, USS Zeilin (DD-313). Retrieved 3 January 2011.

Tin Can Sailors. The National Association of Destroyer Veterans. Clemson Class. Retrieved 3 January 2011.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog


January 11, 2017
Jillian McKee

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Tests Immunotherapy Before Surgery

“Last fall, the Baylor College of Medicine Mesothelioma Treatment Center began running a new clinical trial that looks at how to use immunotherapy and surgery together as a more effective way to treat mesothelioma – an extremely rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.”