Fletcher-class USS Doran was one of two ships named for Boatswain’s Mate and Medal of Honor recipient John James Doran. It was commissioned in August of 1942 at Boston Navy Yard.
Action in World War II
As its initial assignment, the Doran set off from Norfolk for Safi, French Morocco in November to investigate a beached submarine before returning to the United States later that same month. Over the next six months, it made three trips to New York, and then sailed east to prepare for the invasion of Sicily where it provided fire support for landings and screened transports in July of 1943. It served there until August, traveling between its port in Sicily and Bizerte and Tunisia before sailing to back New York in September of 1943.
Between October of 1943 and May of 1944, the Doran made numerous trips between Boston, New York, and several ports in the United Kingdom while serving on convoy duty. Shortly after, it set sail for the Mediterranean to screen transports leaving Oran to Naples as well as to conduct exercises and patrols against submarines in the area. After a quick stop back in New York, it took a convoy voyage to Liverpool and escorted the USS Randolph to the Canal Zone. Shortly thereafter, it escorted several convoys between Oran and Charleston, South Carolina. At the completion of its escort duties, it underwent a conversion and subsequent reclassification to a high-speed minesweeper in May of 1945.
After its reclassification, the Doran traveled to San Diego for training before heading to Okinawa by way of Pearl Harbor in October of 1945. It swept mines there in the Yellow Sea before serving on escort and courier duty at Shanghai in China. In January of 1946, it escorted several ships of the Mine Squadron to Wakanoura Wan for buoy-laying tasks. It stayed there in the Japanese waters until March before heading back to San Francisco. It was placed out of commission on reserve in January of 1947, where it stayed until it was reclassified DD-636 in July of 1966. For its dedicated service in World War II, it was awarded three battle stars.
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.