The USS Crosby was a Little-class destroyer that was built in Quincy. It was commissioned in 1919 and spent the first few months of service taking part in exercises in the Caribbean Sea region. It served as a plane guard during the trans-Atlantic flights that were attempted by the NC flying boats. It then traversed the Panama Canal and joined the Pacific Fleet. The Crosby was placed into reserve until June of 1922 and was formally decommissioned that year.
Action in World War II
The Crosby was in reserve for the next seventeen years and was re-commissioned in December of 1939. It performed Naval Reserve training duties off of the West coast of the United States until December of 1941. The Crosby was put on enemy patrol and escort duty for fourteen months.
In February of 1943, the Crosby became a fast transport and was re-designated APD-17. It traveled to the South Pacific and participated in landings in New Georgia, the Treasury Islands, Bougainville, and Cape Gloucester. It remained there until the end of 1943 . On December 7th of 1944, the Crosby helped to recover the survivors of the USS Ward, fatally damaged by a suicide bomber during the landings at Leyte.
The Crosby was overhauled and later performed patrol and picket missions off of Okinawa. It left the war zone in early May, was decommissioned in September of 1945, and was sold for scrapping by May 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.