USS Wright CVL-49 (1947-1980)
The USS Wright, a 14.500 ton Saipan grade small aircraft carrier, was constructed in Camden, New Jersey. Licensed in February 1947, it spent nearly three years as a coaching aircraft carrier out of Pensacola, Florida, with occasional digressions to anti-submarine warfare functions.
The Wright cut through the Atlantic Ocean in August 1952 to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation “Mainbrace” in northern European waters. It completed its last Mediterranean Sea deployment in March of 1953.
In April 1954, the Wright glided by the Panama Canal to rendezvous with the Pacific Ocean Fleet. It operated in the distant East with the 7th Fleet, transporting a United States Marine Corps snipe squadron from May to October 1954. The following year it took part in the atomic weapons trial Operation, “Wigwam”, then commenced deactivation plans.
The USS Wright was decommissioned at Bremerton, Washington D.C., in March of 1956. When in military reserve in May 1959, it was re-designated as an aircraft conveyance (AVT-7). In March 1962, it was transported to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to begin changeover to a command ship. The Vessel was reclassified as the USS Wright (CC-2) in May of 1962.
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.