The USS Halsey was a Leahy-class cruiser in the U.S. Navy. It was launched from the San Francisco Naval Yard in 1962 and was commissioned a year later in 1963.
In early 1964, the Halsey completed its weapons trials, including launching its first missile on February 10 of that same year. After another shakedown cruise, lasting from March to May, it headed back to San Francisco for another evaluation of its systems.
The USS Halsey was an experimental ship for a new kind of weapons operations system. The system, commonly used in the present, had all the controls located under one portion of the ship, with a CIC officer in charge of them. The ship also had a separate hull and an internal communications system.
In 1966, the Halsey was moved to Subic Bay in the Philippines and served in the South China Sea in the form of an ASW and lifeguard ship. Acting in this role, it rescued 16 airmen who were shot down in the Vietnam conflict in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was then sent back to San Diego, where it was overhauled for 2 months in 1967. For several years, it performed training and testing exercises.
The Halsey was decommissioned and struck from the Naval register on January 1, 1994. It was scrapped in 2003.
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 to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.