USS Broome DD-210 (AG-96)
The USS Broome DD-210, built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by William Cramp and Sons, was a 1,190 ton Clemson-class destroyer. She was able to sail at 35 knots and was capable of carrying 122 officers and enlisted men. The vessel was named after John L. Broom, a United States Marine Corps officer, and was commissioned October 31, 1919.
In May, 1920 she sailed the Atlantic, where she undertook several months of service in European waters. Later that year, she went to the Far East for a tour with the Asiatic Fleet. She then returned to San Diego, where she was decommissioned December 30, 1922.
After eight years, the Broome was recommissioned. She spent nearly the entire decade of the ’30s working in the Pacific, then transferring to the Atlantic in May, 1939. As relations with Germany continued to deteriorate, she joined convoy operations between the U.S. and Iceland, beginning in 1941.
Action in World War II
In December 1941, after the U.S. formally entered World War II, she continued to fulfill her Atlantic convoy and patrol duties. One of her missions included the escort of several convoys across the ocean to the British Isles and North Africa. In 1945, her main duty was to serve in training duties. In May, she was disarmed and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet’s Operational Training Command, being renamed the AG-96. This was located in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In December, 1945 she went to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she began inactivation preparations.
On May 20, 1946, the USS Broome DD-210 was decommissioned. She was then sold for scrapping in November of the following year.
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.