Action in World War II
The Chevalier, a Gearing-class destroyer, was launched in 1944 and commissioned in 1945. By June 1945, it cleared Guantanamo Bay and reached Pearl Harbor on July 9th of that year. It sailed to join the bombardment of Wake later that month and arrived at Eniwetok the beginning of August. Joining the TF 38 off Honshu later that month, the Chevalier entered Tokyo Bay. It later received assignments in the Marianas and Philippines and stayed there before returning to San Diego in April 1946.
The Chevalier maintained its stations in the western Pacific and in San Diego. In March of 1949, it was reclassified as DDR, a radar picket destroyer and, during that summer and fall, operated in the Hawaiian Islands.
Action in the Korean War
From 1950 to1953, during the Korean War, the Chevalier actively served in the Far East. Its main duty was to serve as the protective screen of the TF 77, the carrier that launched continuous raids on North Korea. It also performed protective patrol in the Taiwan Straits.
After the War
After the Korean War it served alternating tours of duty with the guardian 7th Fleet. Between 1954 and 1960, the Chevalier sailed to Australian ports, patrolled the Taiwan Straits and performed exercises off Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines. Its prestigious service earned the Chevalier one battle star for its service during World War II and nine stars for service during the Korean War.
The Chevalier was sold to Korea in 1972 and finally was scrapped in December 2000.
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.