Commodore Byron McCandless (1881-1967) and his son Rear Admiral Bruce McCandless I (1911 -1968) served as the namesakes for the 33rd Knox-class frigate, the USS McCandless. Commodore McCandless was a US Navy officer who served in both World War I and World War II and who was a recipient of the US Navy Cross—the second highest award for valor bestowed upon members of the US Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard. Rear Admiral McCandless served during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor—the highest military honor offered for acts of valor. The first US ship to bear this name, the USS McCandless was guided by her motto of “Illumino Marem”—“To Light Man’s Way.” This vessel served the United States in commission for 22.1 years.
The keel of the USS McCandless was laid down on June 4, 1970 by Avondale Shipyard (Westwego, Louisiana). Launched and christened in a ceremony held on March 20, 1971, the USS McCandless was later commissioned as a destroyer escort (DE) at the Boston Naval Shipyard (Boston, Massachusetts) on March 18, 1972. This vessel was reclassified as a frigate (FF) on June 30, 1975.
Traveling through ocean waters at speeds in excess of 27 knots, the 438-foot USS McCandless was equipped 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). This ship housed one aircraft on board—a SH-2 Seasprite Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter—as an additional mechanism of defense for operational missions calling for air support.
The USS McCandless was assigned to operate out of Norfolk, Virginia at the onset of her career as a unit of Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Atlantic (CruDesLant). The ship’s complement of 18 officers and 267 enlisted men and women was initially led by Commander Ralph A. Turner, Jr.
The USS McCandless’s first deployment was a cruise to the Middle East that began in August of 1973 and lasted through January of the following year. Subsequent to this initial voyage overseas, the USS McCandless adopted a regular schedule of deployments which took her to the waters of the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Persian Gulf. McCandless’s last tactical missions were in support of Operation Desert Storm—a US-led coalition force of 34 nations against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait— from January through May of 1990 and June through December of 1991. The USS McCandless was awarded the Kuwait Liberation Medal by Kuwait for her efforts during these deployments.
December 31, 1991 marked the USS McCandless’s assignment to the Naval Reserve Force, Atlantic (Norfolk, Virginia) where she was reclassified as a training frigate (FFT-1084). The USS McCandless was one of only eight ships of her class subject to this redesignation.
Simultaneously decommissioned and leased to Turkey under the new name of TCG Trakya (F-257) on May 6, 1994, the USS McCandless was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on January 11, 1995. Turkey purchased this vessel in February of 2002.
Asbestos Risk on the USS McCandless (FF-1084)
Medical science has identified asbestos exposure as the only definitive cause of mesothelioma. The widespread use of asbestos and asbestos products by the US Navy from the 1930s through the 1980s has led to Navy veterans being amongst the most prevalent populations afflicted with mesothelioma cancer.
Current mortality trends cite mesothelioma as responsible for over 2,500 deaths per year in the US alone. This number is anticipated to peak by the year 2020 due to the extended latency periods (ranging from 15-50 years) that are characteristic of diseases derived from asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one served aboard a US Navy vessel such as the USS McCandless and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please fill out the form on this page to obtain a free informational packet designed to provide you with both medical and legal resources available to help mesothelioma victims.Sources
Wikipedia–USS McCandless (FF-1084)