The Galveston was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1946. A light cruiser, the ship weighed 10,000 tons and was of the Cleveland Class of naval vessels. For ten years, the Galveston served as a non-commissioned ship of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The Galveston was returned to a Philadelphia naval shipyard in February 1956, and reconstructed as a guided missile ship. After reconstruction, USS Galveston CL-93 was reclassified as USS Galveston CLG-93.
Two years later, in May 1958, The Galveston was commissioned to carry the Talos. The Talos was a long-range, guided missile and an anti-aircraft weapon. Due to additional reconstruction in 1958, the naval vessel was equipped with a new weapons system that included magazines, a new launcher, and new radars. The Galveston spent the first three years of active duty off of the United States east coast and in the Caribbean where the Talos was tested.
New search radar was installed and new modifications were made in 1961 and 1962. After the new modifications, The Galveston was transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1963. Commissioned for its first overseas deployment, the naval vessel served in the Far East as a member of the Seventh Fleet until 1964.
Action in the Vietnam War
Redeployed in 1965 on a second Western Pacific cruise, the Galveston participated in active combat in the Vietnam War. The naval vessel provided air defense in the Gulf of Tonkin and performed search and rescue missions until returned to the Atlantic early in 1967.
In August 1967, the Galveston was re-commissioned to serve in the Mediterranean Sea as a member of the Sixth Fleet. This tour of duty was also marked by an intense war between Israel and Arab nations. The naval vessel was returned to the Pacific in September 1967. Re-commissioned for a third deployment in 1968, The Galveston rejoined the Seventh Fleet and again participated in active combat in the Vietnam War. It cruised the Mediterranean Sea until October 1969.
After the War
The Galveston was returned to the west coast, and placed in Reserve for a second time in May 1970. Decommissioned in December 1973, the naval vessel was finally sold for scrapping in May 1975.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, naval cruisers 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.