The USS Boggs DD-136 was built at the Mare Island Navy Yard. She was in a Wickes-class destroyer with a 1,090-ton displacement. She was named after Admiral Charles S. Boggs, commander of several Civil War ships and leader of the European Fleet in the 1870s. Her first commission came about in September, 1918 and the first to helm the ship was Commander H.V. McKittrick.
In March 1919 the Boggs sailed from San Diego, taking a six month cruise along the east coast in the North Atlantic and Caribbean. Upon returning, she was placed with the Pacific Fleet. She was then decommissioned in June, 1922.
In September, 1931 the Boggs was pulled out of mothballs and recommissioned, getting renamed the AG-19. A few months later, she was assigned to the Mobile Target Division 1, Battle Force. This involved high speed-radio control tests as well as target towing and mine-sweeping. Except for a few months, the Boggs served off the west coast until 1940.
In September, she sailed to Pearl Harbor. Later that year, she was reclassified as a high-speed minesweeper, again receiving a new name, the DMS-3.
Action in World War II
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, officially bringing the U.S. into World War II, the Boggs was at sea. However, the ship remained active around Pearl Harbor until January 1943. She then sailed to the Canton Island, Phoenix Islands with supplies. In early March, she returned to Pearl Harbor, again serving as a minesweeper, patrol vessel and towboat.
The Boggs sailed to San Pedro, California where she had an overhaul from March to June, 1945. During the overhaul, she had her sweeping gear stripped, again changing names to the AG-19. She was then equipped for high speed target towing, next sailing to the Marshall Islands in August, 1945. She remained there for nearly two months before she returned to the U.S, arriving in the early part of 1946.
After the war
The USS Boggs was decommissioned March 20, 1946. Eight months later she was sold for scrap to Philadelphia’s Northern Metals Co.
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.