Action in World War II
The USS Coghlan, a United States Benson destroyer, was commissioned during World War II. It was the second ship named for Joseph Bulloc Coghlan. Coghlan was the head of the expedition which fought in the Spanish American war and seized the Cavite batteries at Subic Bay and Isla Grande. In 1902, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and died on December 5th, 1908.
The Coghlan, built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company, first launched in February of 1942 sponsored by Mrs. G. Coghlan. It was led by Commander B.F. Tompkins. The Coghlan went on tour on September 22, 1942, sailing to Pearl Harbor from San Francisco and then arriving in Kodiak, Alaska in October for patrol and convoy duty.
On January 12, 1943, it backed army landings and took part in the bombing of Gibson Island at the Chicago Harbor entrance on February 18. It assisted in the sinking of a Japanese merchant ship on February 20. On March 15, The Coghlan authorized a military unit in Dutch Harbor to police against the Japanese in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands on March 26. During this mission, the Coghlan shielded the Richmond and discharged smoke for the Salt Lake. It bombed the Holtz and the Chicago seaports on April 26th as well as the landings on Attu from May 11th to June 2nd. Overhauled at San Francisco in July, the Coghlan came back to Adak on the 13th of August for two more weeks of policing in the Aleutians.
The Coghlan navigated the waters near Pearl Harbor on January 22nd 1944 to shield transported goods coming into the ports in the Marhsalls. On March 8, it came back to Pearl Harbor for service and repair. The vessel accompanied a carrier sailing to Majuro and returned to Pearl Harbor on April 22. After several more missions in the Philippines, the Coghlan was decommissioned in March 1947.
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.