The Eberle was built by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in Bath, Maine. It was launched on 14 September 1940 and sponsored by Miss Mildred Eberle.
The USS Eberle had a displacement of 1,620 tons. Its length was 347’9″ with a beam of 36’1″, and a draft of 11’10”. It could travel as fast as 33 knots. Its complement was 208 officers and servicemen. It was also equipped with five 5″ and ten 21″ torpedo tubes. It had 6 depth charge projectors, and 2 depth charge tracks. Its commission commenced on 4 December 1940 with Lieutenant Commander E.R. Gardner Jr. in command.
The Eberle was trained in the Caribbean and on the East Coast. After its training duty was completed, it was assigned to patrol duties off of Bermuda. In August of 1941 it began to perform escorts to Newfoundland, Iceland, and the far Northern bases. Before and after the American entry into the War, it was the Eberle that was responsible for securing the western Atlantic end of the lifeline to Britain.
Action in World War II
On 25 October 1942, the Eberle was part of the invasion of North Africa, and on 8 November 1942, it provided bombardment and fire for the landings at Mahedia, French Morocco. On 26 December 1942, it was dispatched to the South Atlantic to perform patrol duties out of Recife, Brazil. During this tour of duty, the Eberle intercepted a German blockade runner called the Karin, on 10 March 1943. When its boarding party engaged the Karin, detonation charges went off, killing 7 of the 14 men. The remaining men gathered all the intelligence that was possible, and 72 prisoners, before the explosions and fires forced them into the sea.
The USS Eberle successfully acquired all 49 individuals. It was then sent for overhaul at Charleston and returned to escort duty in North Africa until January 1944. In February 1944 it went for amphibious training in Oran, then back to Naples for patrol and bombardment duties. On 22 January 1951, the Eberle was decommissioned in Boston.
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.