USS Lake Champlain CV-39
The USS Lake Champlain is a Ticonderoga class aircraft carrier. She was first launched in June of 1945 after finishing her construction work in the Norfolk Navy Yard. The first operation that she participated in was none other than “Magic Carpet” which started later on in the same year she was launched. This operation was one that involved bringing the service members home from Europe. While she was taking part in this operation, the Lake Champlain would go on to set what was at the time a trans-Atlantic speed record. Shortly after completing that mission she was decommissioned and would remain in the reserve until the Korean and Cold war combined increased the demand for the need of speedy aircraft carriers.
Action in the Cold War and Korea
With the start of these new conflicts the Lake Champlain would have to undergo some upgrades that would help her meet the standard for the time period. That meant she had to get a new flight deck that was stronger, a new island, and some other improvements that would help the ship move into the new conflict. After getting those improvements the ship was recommissioned in September of 1952. Instead of heading through the Panama Canal to reach the Pacific and the Korean conflict she went into the Suez Canal in May of 1953. She arrived in the war zone in Mid-June of 1953 and managed to have six weeks of active combat duty before the armistice was signed for the cease fire.
For the next four years the Lake Champlain would make several Sixth Fleet cruises into the Mediterranean. In August 1957 with the use of submarines becoming more commonplace, she was converted to more of an anti-submarine support carrier. During this role she would remain in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean. While patrolling in the Caribbean she would take psty in the Cuban Quarantine on top of all the other activities that she would normally be carrying out.
After the War
In the early 1960s the Lake Champlain was the only straight flight deck fixed-wing carrier left in the fleet. That is because the fleet had decided to embrace the angled flight deck. This led to the ship being called old and unsafe for aircraft coming off of the deck. She was decommissioned in May of 1966 and was sold for scrapping in July of 1972.
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.