USS Anthony DD 515 (Z-1)
The USS Anthony, a 2050-ton ship, was classified as a Fletcher destroyer. Built in Bath, Maine, the ship was commissioned in February of 1943 and was sent to the Pacific a few months later. The USS Anthony began training in Hawaii and once finished, the Anthony guided a convoy to the war-zone in the Southern Pacific.
Action in World War II
The first mission for the USS Anthony was in the fall of 1943 where the ship provided coverage for shipping boats against air and submarine threats in the Solomons. In 1994, near the area of Bougainville, the USS Anthony was sent on another mission to provide similar coverage. Later, in February and March, the ship provided coverage for landing planes on Green Island and Emirau, as well as participated in some enemy base shelling.
By mid 1944, the Anthony was moved to the central Pacific in order to partake in the invasions of Saipan and Guam. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the USS Anthony was an active screening ship, providing coverage for many U.S. aircraft carriers. The remainder of 1944 was spent on renovations for ship in California and once these were complete, the Anthony was sent back to the western Pacific in order for it to be used for the Iwo Jima landings in the beginning of 1945.
The role of the ship shifted in mid 1945, as it was generally used for gunfire support and protection of other ships off the coast of Okinawa. A resilient boat, the Anthony took on significant damage when the ship was holed by a Kamikaze suicide plane crash, but no one on the ship lost their life and the ship remained in action.
Once fighting had commenced in the Pacific, the USS Anthony remained in order to complete minesweeping duties within Japanese waters. Towards the end of 1945, the USS Anthony made the trip back to the United States, eventually landing on the East Coast where the boat was decommissioned in April, 1946. Nearly twelve years later, in January or 1958, the ship was loaned to the Federal Republic of Germany and renamed to Z-1. While under German command, the ship served in the Bundes marine. In April of 1972, it was finally returned to United States control. Once back under United States control, the boat was again decommissioned and removed from the Navy list.
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.