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USS Donald B. Beary (FF-1085)

“Prudentia-Animus-Fortitudo”—Latin for “Knowledge-Spirit-Valor”—was the guiding motto of the USS Donald B. Beary. The 34th Knox-class vessel to be constructed, the USS Donald B. Beary honored the memory of US Navy Vice Admiral Donald Bradford Beary (1888–1966) who served during World War I and World War II and held the post of President of the Naval War College from 1948-1950. Serving the United States in commission for nearly 22 years, the USS Donald B. Beary began her career as a destroyer escort (DE) before being reclassified as a frigate (FF) in June of 1975.


Avondale Shipyards (Westwego, Louisiana) laid the keel of the 438-foot USS Donald B. Beary on July 24, 1970. The ship was christened and launched in a ceremony held on May 22, 1971 with Mrs. Mary L. Beary—widow of the ship’s namesake—serving as sponsor. Upon the USS Donald B. Beary’s commissioning at the Boston Naval Shipyard (Boston, Massachusetts) on July 22, 1972, Commander John J. Gelke was assigned to lead the ship’s initial crew of 18 officers and 267 enlisted men and women.

Outfitted with a solid defense system comprised of one MK-16 eight-cell missile launcher for antisubmarine rocket (ASROC) and Harpoon missiles, one MK-42 five-inch/54 caliber gun, MK-46 torpedoes from single tube launchers, and one Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), the USS Donald B. Beary displaced approximately 4,200 tons (full load) and achieved speeds in excess of 27 knots. This vessel navigated ocean waters guided by an advanced array of radar and sonar equipment and housed one aircraft on board—a SH-2 Seasprite Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter—as a means of additional support on an as-needed basis during her deployments.

Naval History

Homeported at Norfolk, Virginia at the onset of her career, the USS Donald B. Beary was assigned to operate as a unit of Destroyer Squadron 10.

January 1974 marked the USS Donald B. Beary’s departure on her first deployment to the waters of the Mediterranean. Additional deployments to this region ensued in subsequent years with voyages in May 1975, May 1976, January 1979, and January 1989. In addition to the Mediterranean, the USS Donald B. Beary carried out operations in the waters of the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf, and North Atlantic.

The USS Donald B. Beary was assigned to the Naval Reserve Force (Atlantic) based at Norfolk, Virginia on September 30, 1991. Along with eight other vessels in her class, she was reclassified as a training frigate with a new hull classification of FFT-1085.

Officially decommissioned on May 20, 1994, the USS Donald B. Beary went on to serve Turkey through a lease agreement at which time she adopted the new name of TCG Karadeniz (F-255).

The USS Donald Beary was struck from the US Naval Vessel Register on January 11, 1995. She concluded her career in the US as a decorated vessel having earned several awards and honors over the course of her career—the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (three), the Navy Expeditionary Medal (with one star), the National Defense Service Medal (with one star), the Humanitarian Service Ribbon, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Turkey renewed their lease of the former USS Donald B. Beary in September of 1998 and finally purchased the vessel in February of 2002.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Donald B. Beary (FF-1085)

The naturally-occurring mineral asbestos was employed to a great extent by the US Navy as it provided a high-level of protection against the elements of heat and fire that were commonplace within the confines of her ships. As a result, individuals who were involved in the construction and maintenance of US Navy vessels and all those who served aboard such vessels were exposed to high levels of asbestos which has evolved as the root cause of illnesses, specifically the aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

A diagnosis of mesothelioma, in most cases, offers a limited life expectancy. Mesothelioma results from prior exposure to asbestos fibers that at one point or another entered the human body via inhalation or ingestion. These fibers easily attach to the membranes of the heart, lungs, and abdomen where they directly impact cells by causing infection, inflammation, and eventual cell mutation into cancer. The extended latency period characteristic of mesothelioma—ranging from 15-50 years—often makes a diagnosis difficult as symptoms do not appear until many years after the initial exposure occurred.

Companies that constructed navy vessels and companies that produced asbestos materials utilized aboard navy vessels have been assigned responsibility for producing products and contributing to an environment that has been scientifically proven to negatively impact human health and safety. As a consequence of their actions—utilizing a substance known to pose a risk for the development of such diseases as mesothelioma—many companies have had to provide asbestos victims with compensatory damages.

If you are a mesothelioma victim, please fill out the form on this page to receive a free information packet. This packet has been specifically designed to provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge on treatment options and treatment centers and to connect you with experienced legal experts dedicated to acquiring monetary compensation for your injury.



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