The USS Franklin D. Roosevelt is a Midway class aircraft carrier. It weighs over 45,000 tons and was constructed in New York’s Navy Yard. It was commissioned on 1945’s Navy Day and made a cruise shakedown to Brazil during February of 1946. Throughout the months of May and April, the Franklin D. Roosevelt participated in the maneuvers of the Eighth Fleet, which took place off of Brazil’s east coast. This was the first major training exercise that the Navy held after the Second World War.
Action in the Cold War
The Franklin D. Roosevelt had almost two dozen successful deployments. The first of these deployments was to the Mediterranean Sea from August to October. The second cruise to the Mediterranean began during the month of July in 1948 and went until 1949. When the Cold War got tense from the 1940s to the 1950s, the Franklin D. Roosevelt made many trips across the Atlantic Ocean to carry out operations off of the southern European coast with the Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
During this time, the Franklin D. Roosevelt carried both nuclear and conventionally-armed aircrafts, which were meant to provide deterrence to the armed forces of Russia’s Soviet Union and her subordinate states. The ship gained reclassification as a respected attack carrier during October of 1952. This meant that she had to change the number on her hull to CVA-42 from CVB-42.
During the first half of 1954, the Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled past Cape Horn and began its two year west coast modernization process. After the work had been completed, the ship emerged newly-equipped and sporting a sleek flight deck that was angled, steam catapults, a hurricane bow, and much more. These features were added so that higher performance aircrafts could be supported by the carrier. In November of 1956, the Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled into European waters. For the next full decade, the ship was deployed seven times into the Mediterranean. During this time, she took part in the provision of a continuous and powerful presence by the United States Navy in the very troubled region. In March of 1961, the Franklin D. Roosevelt recorded the one hundred thousandth aircraft landing on her deck.
After the War
The Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier was finally decommissioned during October of 1977. In April of 1978, she was finally sold as scrap metal. This was one of the great naval vessels of a time that no longer exists.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers 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.