The 2,425 ton USS Bausell DD-845 was commissioned in February, 1946. The Gearing-class destroyer served in both the Korean and the Vietnam War. She was built by the Bath Iron Works located in Bath, Maine and named after Marine Corporal Lewis K. Bausell, who received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of Peleliu. She was first commanded by Commander James Bewick.
Her first tour of duty sent her to the Pacific Fleet, with San Diego becoming her home port. After a few months of local operations, she headed for Pearl Harbor. Then, upon conducting reserve training, she headed for Bremerton, Washington. There she underwent an overhaul which lasted four months. Next she returned to San Diego before heading out on her first Far East mission. She arrived at Tsinglao, China, on April 15, 1948. There she spent six months covering the Yellow Sea while she escorted American ships in the area.
In 1951, the Bausell sailed for the Korean water along with two other DesDiv 12 ships. Here she mostly completed patrol work throughout the area. Then, during the Interwar years, she sailed to the western Pacific on three different occasions. During these sessions she conducted ASW exercises. She also patrolled the sea off China and Korea. In July, 1960 she sailed to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Here she underwent alterations. She was also armed with antisubmarine rockets and torpedoes. Her sonar and radar capabilities were also greatly improved during this improvement. She then sailed for San Diego. During the following 14 months she was involved in conducting weapons exercises and sea trials in order to test the new equipment.
Action in the Vietnam War
The Bausell again headed for the Far East in 1962. There she carried out local operations. For the next 11 months, following her departure from San Diego in February, 1965, she was used to fulfill training and other commitments statewide. Then, the following January, the Bausell set sail for Vietnam. Her first assigned duty was to monitor the Russian trawler, Protractor, and track its movements. In March and April, the Bausell fired more than 7,000 five-inch rounds at shore targets. She also successfully rescued four downed pilots. She then headed for home in June, 1966.
Her following years saw her conducting everything from local operations to serving as an engineering school ship. She also spent more time off the Indochinese peninsula. Then she was sent to Yokosuka, Japan. During this mission, she headed back to Vietnam. There she spent two months serving on the gun line, firing support missions to assist the friendly forces ashore.
After the war
The USS Bausell DD-845 was decommissioned on May 30, 1978. Her name was removed from the Navy list the same day. On July 17, 1987 she was sunk as a target.
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.