The USS Boyle DD-600, a Benson-class destroyer launched by Bethlehem Steel of Quincy, Massachusetts June 15, 1942, was commissioned August 15, 1942. Lt. Commander E.S. Karpe took the helm of the 1,620-ton destroyer first. The destroyer was named in honor of Thomas Boyle, an officer in the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812.
Action in World War II
Joining the Atlantic Fleet, Boyle sailed October 25, 1942 from Norfolk, Virginia as part of Task Force 34 (TF 34) for the invasion of North Africa. She participated in landings at Fedhala, French Morocco on November 8 through 11, and off Casablanca she skirmished with French corvettes. Boyle was on patrol until February 1943 off the east coast and the Caribbean after her return to the U.S. on November 30.
On February 7, 1943 she was escort to Convoy UGS-5, heading to North Africa when two days out, both Evita and SS George Davis accidentally rammed Pan Royal, sinking her. Boyle rescued 54 survivors, but eight men were lost. Making convoy runs between February 1943 and April 4, 1944, she sailed to North Africa six times and Ireland three times, receiving a break from convoy duty during the Sicilian invasion in July 1943 and serving as a guide ship during the Scoglitti landings.
In April 1944, she served off New York with a hunter-killer group, then headed to the Mediterranean Sea. In May and June of that year, she patrolled the Gulf of Naples, Italy, aiding with the attack on Formia and Anzio from May 13 to 18. Next she participated in the Invasion of southern France on August 15 to September 1, arriving back in New York on September 14.
After a refitting at Boston, Massachusetts, she returned to the Mediterranean Sea on December 21, 1944, performing escort duty and fire support until April 22, 1945. Returning to the east coast May 1, then departing for the Pacific Ocean May 23, she reached San Diego, California June 12. Boyle next cruised to Pearl Harbor, then heading to Saipan, where she arrived August 5. During her journey, she participated in the attack on Wake Island on August 1.
Reaching Okinawa August 12, she patrolled the area until September 1. Boyle then sailed for Tokyo, Japan, arriving September 11 to serve in Japanese, Chinese and Okinawan waters through November 1.
After the war
She headed back to the U.S. in November, arriving at Charleston, South Carolina on December 8, 1945. She remained in Charleston until March 29, 1946, when she was decommissioned and placed in reserve. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register June 1, 1971, she was sunk as a target on May 3, 1973.
For her service in World War II, Boyle was awarded four battle stars.
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.