The USS Bryce Canyon was a Shenandoah-class destroyer tender launched in March of 1946 from the Charleston Navy Yard. However, she would not see much additional work done on her until the Korean Conflict would break out. She was then completed in the Charleston Navy Yard and finally being commissioned in September of 1950, four years after she was first launched.
Service in the Pacific
In December of 1950, she headed to the Pacific Fleet by way of the Panama Canal. She arrived in San Diego that same month, only remaining there until March of 1951, when she was sent to Yokosuka, Japan. She arrived a month later, in the middle of April, undertaking seven months of constant repair and service work to the warships that were based in Yokosuka and Sasebo. She finally returned to San Diego in the middle of November.
She then undertook another deployment to the Western Pacific in June of 1952, via Pearl Harbor. This cruise lasted another seven months before she finally returned to the states, arriving in Long Beach in February of 1953. However, she would only be stateside until October of 1953, as she would be sent out to Sasebo again. When she arrived there, was put into service repairing the ships that were based in the area. She eventually returned to the United States from this duty in June of 1954.
She undertook a fourth tour of duty in the area in February of 1955. During this tour, she serviced vessels in the Subic Bay area, later making a trip to Yokosuka in May of 1955. She finally returned to Long Beach in August of the same year. She undertook a fifth cruse beginning in December of 1955 and terminating in October of 1956 in Long Beach.
Most of the USS Bryce Canyon’s time would be seen on the West Coast of Far Eastern Cruises. She would be with the Pacific Fleet until she would be decommissioned in June of 1981. She was sold for scrap to National Metal & Steel of Terminal Island, California in April of 1982.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, tenders 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.