The USS Clark was a Porter-class destroyer built in Quincy, Massachusetts. It was commissioned in May of 1936 and served in a wide variety of theaters including the Pacific, Caribbean, and Atlantic. It weighed in at 1,805 tons.
Action in World War II
In March and April of 1941, the Clark reached Australia. When the war started in December of 1941 the Clark escorted convoys near the West Coast and Hawaii. It served as a screen for the aircraft carriers when they struck New Guinea in March of 1942 and helped to guard the French Frigate Shoals in the early June Battle of Midway.
The Clark went back to the South Pacific in the summer of 1942 during the Guadalcanal Campaign. It was one of the Enterprise’s escorts for the battle of Guadalcanal. The Clark moved to the Panama Canal Zone and served as the Southeast Pacific Force flagship along the South American coast until August of 1944.
After the War
The Clark was overhauled before escorting convoys back and forth from the Atlantic. It made six of those round-trip voyages between the months of September 1944 and April 1945. As the war came to an end in October of 1945, the Clark was decommissioned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was sold as scrap in 1946.
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.