USS Albert W. Grant DD-649

The USS Albert W. Grant was a 2,050 ton Fletcher Class destroyer built for World War II and named after World War I vice Admiral Albert Grant. Construction of the ship began in December 1942 and ended in March 1943.

Action in World War II

In April of 1944, the Albert W. Grant joined Task Force 58 at Majuro, and took part in the Hollandia invasion in New Guinea. During the invasion, the Albert W. Grant engaged USS Albert W. Grant DD-649 in inshore patrol duty, picket duty, and helped cover land troops during the assault. In May, the task force returned to Majuro, and then left for Pearl Harbor, arriving in May 1944. Later in May, the Grant headed for the staging area of Eniwetok in preparation for the invasion of the Marianas Islands. In June of 1944, she added support fire in Saipan and Tinian. She departed from the area in late July of that year, returning to Eniwetok on August 2nd. In September, the Grant met up with Task Group 32.5 for an assault on the Palaus. The destroyer also conducted bombardment operations before the invasions of Angaur and Peleliu. Late that September she got underway for Manus Island, where she would remain until mid-October when she set sail for the Philippines. During the month of October, the Grant provided protection for the fast transport, Crosby, which landed troops on Suluan. The Grant provided support fire for the assault against Leyte from October 17 to 24. Following the invasion of Leyte the Grant took part in the battle of Surgao Strait. During the battle, the Albert W. Grant was badly damaged. Despite the damage, though, the crew managed to get the engines working and brought her into the friendly waters of the Leyte Gulf, where she weathered a typhoon before getting underway to California for repairs. Following repairs, and training operations, the ship returned to the Philippines in May of 1945. In June, she acted as part of an escort for the Boise, which was carrying General Douglas MacArthur, for a tour of the Philippines. On June 27, the Grant participated in attacks against Balikpapan, Borneo, before returning to Manila in July, 1945. She then traveled to the Marshall Islands to prepare for North Pacific duty. After sailing to Alaska, she received word of the Japanese surrender and joined a task force anchored near Ominato.

After the war

She remained on duty in Japan through November of 1945 before returning to the US for an overhaul. She was decommissioned in July of 1946, and then stricken from the naval list, finally being scrapped in April of 1971.

Asbestos in Navy ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers 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.