USS Sable IX-81 (1924-1948)
The USS Sable was a naval training ship during World War II, designed for teaching the pilots how to take off and land on the moving decks that they would use during the war. Prior to starting that life, the Sable was a side-wheel excursion steamer. It was later converted into a freshwater ship for training aviators in the Great Lakes region.
During its time as a steamer, the Sable had a dedicated route between the cities of Buffalo and Detroit, ferrying up to 1,500 passengers per day. This lasted for 18 years after its launching in 1924. In 1942, the Navy acquired the vessel for training purposes. During its career, the Sable trained and qualified close to 17,000 pilots alongside its sister ship, the Wolverine. The Sable was sold to a private company in July of 1948, and a little over twenty days after completing the purchase, the ship was listed as being disposed of.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.