The USS Horne was named after Admiral Frederick Horne. The vessel was constructed at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. It was commissioned in April, 1967. The 7,930 ton Belknap-class destroyer cruiser was 547 feet in length and could travel at 30 knots.
The Horne left San Diego in July 1983 and headed for the Pacific. During the voyage, the vessel was rerouted. It was then ordered to head for Central America. There it held flight and training operations off of the coasts of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua as part of the major military exercises planned for that summer season. The Horne was joined by a number of other ships, ranging from destroyers to frigates.
In February 1994, after 26 years of service, the Horne was decommissioned and stricken from the register. It was placed in the custody of the U.S. Maritime Administration and relocated to the Suisun Bay National Defense Reserve Fleet. In 2008, it was decided that the cruiser would not be scrapped; instead it was sunk in Kauai, Hawaii as a part of RIMPAC 2008.
During its years of service, the Horne received more than two dozen awards. Some of these included the Navy Unit Commendation, two Combat Action Ribbons, and a Joint Meritorious Unit Award. It was one of the most well-known and respected ships in the Navy.
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.