USS Farragut DD-348 (1934-1947)
Before being decommissioned in 1945, the USS Farragut served many useful years in the United States Navy. The first destroyer ordered by the government in over ten years, it was built in 1934. The USS Farragut operated in the Atlantic Ocean until being transferred to the Pacific Ocean in 1935. While at its new home port, the Farragut participated in various peace time actions and training missions. When the threat of World War II became real for America in 1939, the USS Farragut was transferred to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Action in World War II
The USS Farragut saw several battles while in service for the Navy. Its first was when it was anchored at its new base in Pearl Harbor on the day the Japanese first attacked, on December 7, 1941. The next was the Battle of the Coral Sea, which took place in the beginning of May 1942. In between major battles, the USS Farragut was used as an escort and a patrol ship between Hawaii and California. Then, in August, 1942, it took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. After these missions, the Farragut returned to escort duty.
In the early part of 1943, the USS Farragut underwent an overhaul. After being renovated, the ship was relocated, briefly, to Alaska. It participated in the Attu and Kiska operations in the late spring and late summer. In late 1943 and early 1944, it also assisted in seizing bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. The USS Farragut was then moved back to the south Pacific and gave support when troops were landing in New Guinea, Saipan, and Guam. In June 1944, it gave support in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
After the War
From late in 1944 until the end of World War II, the USS Farragut was, again, mostly used for escort and security missions. It did serve as a radar picket in Okinawa, Japan for a short time. After the conflict in the Pacific was over, the USS Farragut was sent back to the mainland United States. It was decommissioned in 1945. In 1947, the United States Navy decided to dismantle the destroyer and sell it for scrap.
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.