The USS Dallas was launched in Newport News in 1919 and was commanded by Lt. A.R. Early. It cruised along the East Coast of the United before being based in Charleston, S.C. It was sent to Philadelphia and placed out of service for three years before being re-commissioned in 1925. It served as a flagship for some of the different destroyer squadrons and as an experimental ship at the Naval Torpedo Station.
In 1932, the Dallas was transferred to San Diego and operated near the Hawaiian Islands. It participated in the Review of the Fleet by the President in 1934 in New York City. Then it returned to the Pacific Ocean. In Philadelphia, it was put out of commission again.
Action in World War II
When war broke out in Europe, the Dallas was put back into service and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet as the flagship of Destroyer Squadrons 41 and 30. It patrolled the East Coast until it was assigned as an escort for the convoys to Londonberry and Northern Ireland. Starting in early 1942, the Dallas began coastal patrol duty and escorted ships up the coast of the U.S. It also transported the landing forces of troops into the North African war zone.
After that raid, the Dallas was returned to convoy escort duty. It served as a screen for TF 81 during the invasion of Sicily then returned to the East Coast of the United States on Christmas Eve.
The Dallas was sent back to the East Coast for patrols and training and in Philadelphia, its name was changed to the Alexander Dallas. It was decommissioned in July of 1945 and sold for scrap later that year.
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.