USS Bristol DD-857 (1945-1969)

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The second USS Bristol was named after Rear Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol, who served in both the Spanish-American War and World War I. This destroyer was constructed and launched by the Bethlehem Steel Company in San Prado, California. Put into commission on March 17th, 1945, she was sponsored by Mrs. August Frederick Eberly. Her captain was Commander K. P. Letts.

Action in World War II

She was to be first stationed at Pearl Harbor, and she left for there on the 13th of June, 1945 from San Diego. She was then deployed to Guam and joined TG 30.8 on July 29th. TG 30.8 was a logistic support group that supplied TF 38. In an accident on August 5th of 1945, she ran into Astabula AO-51. This required a return to Guam for repairs because of damages to her bow. After repairs were completed on the 1st of September, she was sent to the Far East to help with occupation efforts. Finished aiding those efforts on February 21, the Bristol was sent back on March 15 to San Pedro.

After the war

After a month she reported to the Atlantic Fleet on the east coast. She served here until she was called to European waters in February of 1947. She was there until August. She participated in local operations in the Atlantic from August of 1947 until September of 1948. She once again returned to European waters for a second tour from September of 1948 through January of 1949.

After coming back to the United States following this last tour, she was sent to New Orleans to act as a training ship for the next year and a half. She made her way to numerous Caribbean ports over the summer and fall of that year, also sporadically aiding in training in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay.

After training at Guantanamo Bay, she reported to her new base in Newport on October 21, 1950. She was then deployed to the Mediterranean on March 5, 1951, joining the 6th Fleet there. She then returned to Newport for the summer. She then began a cruise that went all the way around the world on October 2, 1951. Travelling first to Korea, she carried out duty there from October 31, 1951 to February 27, 1952. After, traversing the Mediterranean, she sailed home to Newport. She returned on April 21, 1952. The USS Bristol then rejoined the Atlantic Fleet, and ran normal peacetime operations in the Caribbean, on the east coast and in the Mediterranean along with the 6th Fleet.

The USS Bristol was stricken and decommissioned on the same day, November 21st, 1969. On December 23rd, 1969 she was sold to China. The Bristol earned one battle star for her service in World War II and two for her service in the Korean War.

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.


Naval Historical Center

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