USS Compton DD 705 (1944-1960)

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Action in World War II

The Compton was launched and commissioned in 1944. It left for training at Pearl Harbor in early 1945 and later sailed to Okinawa. It was nearby Tori Shima returning to Okinawa when a Japanese plane attacked it. After repairs were done at Leyte, the USS Compton returned to Okinawa until later that year when it escorted a convoy to Guam and then again returned to its station in Okinawa. The Compton received one battle star for World War II service.

After the War

The Compton ran other missions throughout the Pacific, Far East and later joined the Atlantic Fleet and continued to operate along the northeast and in the Caribbean until 1947.

Later, the Compton sailed its first tour of duty in the Mediterranean from 1948 to 1949 and then with the United Nations of Palestine Patrol.  In 1951, it returned to the Mediterranean and sailed in the “Mainbrace” operation for NATO. It toured with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean again in 1953, 1955 and 1956.

Later in 1956, as the Compton was serving at Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, the Suez Crisis erupted. The Compton stood by to evacuate American civilian should that become necessary. When the Suez Canal closed, the Compton sailed home via Mombasa, Durban, the Cape of Good Hope, Simonstown, Recife and Trinidad. In January 1957,  it returned to Newport, Rhode Island.

After its return it again operated in the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea until 1960.  The Compton eventually returned to its operations in the Caribbean. It was there that it assisted in research and development projects, including major meteorological research, and gave service to the Fleet Sonar School at Key West. The Compton again sailed in 1960 to the Mediterranean for duty in the 6th Fleet.

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.


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