USS King DD-242 (1920-1946)
The USS King was the second ship to carry this name and was laid down in April of 1919 at the New York Shipbuilding Corp. Yard. She was commissioned a year later in December of 1920.
Between the Wars
She had her shakedown training on the East Coast of the United States set course for the first of her Mediterranean cruises in October of 1921. She arrived in Turkey in early November and rescued 300 Greek refugees and returned them to Mitylene. She was on station during the Crimean Crisis and remained in the waters in and around Turkey until June of 1923.
She then came back to the United States that same year and joined the Atlantic Scouting Fleet to conduct fleet exercises that would take place between 1923 and 1930 between her other duties. She sailed in the Caribbean before visiting the Pacific in 1925 for maneuvers in the waters of Hawaii. She patrolled the waters of Nicaragua in an effort to protect the citizens of America from the Civil War that was going on in the country. She was decommissioned in 1931 when she returned to Philadelphia.
In June of 1932 she was recommissioned and left Hampton Roads to join the Pacific Scouting Force. She was based out of California for six years and routinely engaged in exercises and reserve cruises to help strengthen the power of American sea force. She was taken out of commission again in San Diego in 1938. The King was recommissioned in September of 1939 with the European portion of World War II starting.
Action in World War II
The USS King was sent back to the East Coast to serve in the Neutrality Patrols. She headed back to the West Coast a short time later and operated out of San Francisco until the outbreak of World War II for the Americans. After the war broke out she served escort duty and even escorted the troop transport ship President Fillmore to the Aleutians and later helped in the bombing of Kiska.
She returned to San Francisco in December of 1943. After an overhaul, she continued operations off the west coast until being sent back to Philadelphia and decommissioned one last time in 1945. The King was sold for scrap to Boston Metal in late 1946.
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.