The Lamson (DD-367) was built by Bath Iron Works Corporation in Bath, Maine. She received her commission on October 21, 1936 under the command of Commander H. E. Paddock. After her initial cruise in the Atlantic, she departed for San Diego and arrived there on July 1, of 1937. While on the west coast, she participated in training exercises until her departure for Hawaii on October 5, 1939, where she was stationed for the next two years.
Action in World War II
On December 7, 1941, she was returning to Pearl Harbor when the Japanese struck. She patrolled the waters off of Hawaii and went to Johnston Island to rescue civilians. Her next tour took her to Samoa for antisubmarine patrols in early 1942. Two months later she was sent to the Fiji Islands to help keep supply lines open in the South Pacific. For six months she patrolled the area.
The Lamson joined Task Force 67 in late 1942 during the Battle of Tassafaronga. For the next eight months she was assigned escort and patrol duty in the South Pacific. In August of 1943 she was involved in the New Guinea operations. She bombarded the shore in preparation for the invasion and provided fire cover for the landed troops. After two months of escorting convoys, she and three other destroyers joined forces to bomb the Japanese base in New Guinea, called Madang. In mid December she assisted in preparation for the invasion of New Britain and Cape Gloucester.
The destroyer was sent to Pearl Harbor for an overhaul and training. She then joined the 5th Fleet and went to the Marshall Islands to patrol for enemy submarines. Her next assignment was with the 7th Fleet. She went to the Philippines in October to provide support for the Leyte assault. While escorting a convoy near Ormoc Bay, she shot down two planes before a third hit her and injured 54 crewmen, killing another 25. She steamed to Puget Sound Navy Yard for repairs at the beginning of 1945. For the remainder of the war she was assigned to duties off of Iwo Jima.
After the War
On September 3 she was at the surrender of the Bonin Islands. After a month she sailed to San Diego, arriving at the end of November. The demise of the Lamson came when she was sunk at Bikini Atoll, as part of the Atomic Bomb Test Able on July 2, 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.