USS Borie DD-704 (1944-1972)
The USS Borie was a destroyer constructed by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on February 29th, 1944. It was named after Secretary of the Navy Adolph E. Borie. It was commissioned on September 21st, 1944, under the command of Commander N. Adair, Jr.
Action in World War II
During World War II, the Borie was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and arrived at its home port of Pearl Harbor on January 4th, 1945. Near the end of the war, it was present at the assault on Iwo Jima on the 24th of January and lent support fire during the invasion of the island from February 19th to 23rd.
After being assigned to Task Force 58, it was deployed in the Tokyo raids on February 25th, as well as the Okinawa raid on March 1st. While on its missions in the Japanese Islands, a kamikaze hit the Borie in the area of the ship between the forward mast and the 5 inch gun tower, killing 48 men and injuring 66 others.
After the attack, the USS Borie was forced to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. After a quick patch up, it then steamed back to the states, where it docked at Hunter’s Point, California, for full repairs. After the repairs were finished on November 20th, 1945, it was reassigned to the Atlantic Fleet, where it assisted primarily with patrol duty. On one cruise on July 28, 1956, it helped evacuate American citizens and U.N. truce teams from danger zones in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
A few years later, in 1959, the Borie recovered the Project Mercury nose cone, which contained Sam the space monkey. On another cruise in 1962, the Borie rescued several Cubans who were looking for safety in the United States, and was also ordered to join the U.S. blockade of Cuba.
Action in the Vietnam War
The USS Borie also served for a brief time in the Vietnam War. In February of 1968, it was deployed to the Tonkin Gulf, where it performed radar picket and plane guard duty. After 1969 and the virtual end of the Vietnam hostilities, it was placed in the Naval Reserve, where it conducted training exercises until it was decommissioned on July 1st, 1962.
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.