USS Laub DD-613 (1941-1971)
The second USS Laub DD-613 was named after Henry Laub. Constructed and laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Company in San Pedro, California, on May 1st, 1941, she was put in to commission on October 24th, 1942. Lieutenant Commander J. F. Gallaher was chosen to captain the vessel.
Action in World War II
The Laub did her shakedown along the coast of California and then made her way to her home base at Norfolk, Virginia via the Panama Canal on February 1st, 1943. She did escort duties next, taking off from New York on the 5th of February on the way to North Africa with a convoy. Once in Casablanca, she stayed until March 14th on patrol duty on the coast of Africa until she escorted another convoy home.
She made another convoy run in May, and on the way home, she and other escorts stopped an attack on weak supply boats by scaring a U-boat away. On June 11th she left New York to help with the invasion of Sicily with other Allied forces. She acted as a screen for transports on the 5th of July as they dropped soldiers and supplies on the beaches of Sicily. Four days later she and the other forces got to Sicily and made a surprise landing at night. Nazi planes tried to stop them the next day, but Allied forces made them back off. The Laub managed to shoot down a Nazi plane, strategic bridges and four tanks while attacking the shore.
She stayed in the Mediterranean until July 28th, when she escorted a convoy bound for the U.S. She made several more as a convoy escort trips to the U.K. and the north of Africa. After these runs, she returned to the Mediterranean and Oran to help the Allied forces.
The Laub was involved in a skirmish on November 6th near N. Africa. Six planes attacked and hit several ships in the convoy. When the skirmish was over, she went on rescue duty, managing to save 341 men from the three damaged ships. After this, she kept up convoy escort duties in the Mediterranean from November of 1943 to April of 1944. She crossed the Atlantic many times, going from New York to the British Isles.
Back in Oran, she deployed on May 12th to provide defensive fire with the Philadelphia on the west coast of Italy, near Anzio. During this operation on the 23rd, the Philadelphia and Laub collided with each other. This required some minor repairs at both Naples and Boston. When these were complete on December 2nd, she returned to Oran.
After the War
Her duties were much the same for the remainder of the European campaign; she escorted convoys and provided defensive fire off the coasts of Italy and France. Sent to Boston from Oran on May 15th, 1945, and arriving on the 23rd, she assisted in Caribbean-based training for duties that were taking place in Pacific waters. After the Japanese capitulation she went to Casco, Maine. Put out of commission on November 2nd, 1946, in Charleston, South Carolina, she was put in reserve. She was stored in Philadelphia until being decommissioned in 1971 and broken up for scrap in 1975. She was awarded four battle stars for her service during the war.
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.