The USS Chimon (AG-150) was an LST-511-class tank landing ship named after an island off the coast of Connecticut. The Chimon weighed in at 1,780 tons, was 328 feet long, and could travel at 12 knots. Fully manned, she carried 140 officers and enlisted men and was armed with several 40mm guns. The Chimon was commissioned on January 29, 1945 under the command of Lieutenant L. J. Patterson.
Service in World War II
The Chimon’s entrance into World War II came towards the end of the fighting. In March of 1945 she was loaded with supplies while in port at Pearl Harbor and set sail for Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Ulithi for delivery to troops serving there.
Upon the completion of this assignment, she headed for Leyte to join a convoy there. While serving with this convoy she was responsible for transporting troops to and from Naha and Hagushi. When the war came to a close the Chimon was sent to pick up troops and equipment to transport for use in peace keeping efforts in occupied Japan. From September until November of 1945, she stayed in service in Japan to assist with the occupation.
Later in 1945, the Chimon cruised to Guam to transport troops back to Pearl Harbor. While in port in Pearl Harbor, she underwent conversion to a spare parts ship. Upon completion of the conversion, she set sail once again to the waters of the Far East. There she served in waters near Shanghai, Tsingtao, and China until October of 1947. From there she left for San Diego, California to be decommissioned on November 21, 1947.
Service in the Korean Conflict
After hostilities broke out in Korea, the Chimon was re-commissioned on December 27, 1950 and placed, once again, in active duty status. This time she was assigned to the Service Squadron 3 and made her way to the Far East in May of the following year. That August, she was reassigned to the 7th Fleet and assisted in peace keeping watches. After the conflict, the Chimon was once again decommissioned on April 22, 1958 and later sold. She received one battle star for her service in World War II.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed 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.