USS Dortch DD 670 (1943-1957)
In August of 1943, the Dortch was commissioned with LT Commander R. C. Young in command. In October and November of that year, the Dortch sailed to Trinidad where it served as a plane guard for the Langley while the carrier was on a shakedown cruise.
Action in World War II
In December, the Dortch provided a screen for the Intrepid in Pearl Harbor. In January of 1944, the Dortch served as a screen for the carriers of Task Force 58 during the capture and occupation of the Marshalls. During February of that year, the Dortch participated in the raids of Truk and the Marianas, and provided air cover in the Emirau Island landings in March of that year. From the end of March to the beginning of May, it rejoined Task Force 58 and assisted in raids in Yap, Ulithi, Palau, and Woleai. Later operations in New Guinea required the support of the Dortch in early April.
During 1944, the Dortch continued to see action, participating in raids with the 5th fleet. It bombarded airfields and installations in Formosa, Luzon, and other cities on the Chinese Coast in preparation for invasion of the Philippines.
Action in the Korean War
Throughout the 1940s and into the Korean war of the 1950s the Dortch served as a vital role in the war. In the late 1950s, the Dortch became part of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Group, patrolling the Gaza Strip. After its service in the Mediterranean, it was sent to patrol the waters of the Caribbean and there it remained for the rest of its service. It continued in active service until 1957, when it was decommissioned on December 13, 1957.
The Dortch received 8 battle stars for World War II and one for the Korean War.
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.