USS Lofberg DD-759 (1945-1973)
The USS Lofberg was a destroyer class vessel that was active in the United States Naval fleet for twenty-four years from 1945 to 1969. The ship participated in missions during the occupation of Japan after World War II. She also performed several combat operations during the Korean War and the Vietnam War as well.
Action in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam
During World War II, the destroyer’s main objective was the removal of enemy mines and booby traps taken from Japanese waters. The ship then conducted numerous trips transporting troops between Okinawa as well as Shanghai, and consequently her return to the United States in 1946 included a number of troops returning home from the war.
Following her original appearance on Korean seas, she started to be an integral part of the gun support for the aircraft carriers that were stationed in Korean waters. Aircraft coming from these particular carriers performed a critical part in effective evacuations of U.S. soldiers leaving North Korea after the Communist involvement in Asia. She took part in gunfire support tasks away from Korea’s west shoreline together with the Missouri (BB-63) against targets on the far eastern coastline. During her two following excursions she participated in the naval surrender at Wonsan, Korea, combined with precautionary patrolling of the Formosan Straits
After refurbishment, the Lofberg underwent training to prepare for use of her new helicopter flight deck as a part of an antisubmarine finder team. She left San Francisco to begin her first tour of the Vietnam region. Most of these responsibilities involved engagement within the seaside screen patrol initiated to prevent the smuggling of troops and provisions through to Communist Northern Vietnam.
After leaving Vietnamese waters, the Lofberg experienced a three-month stint in reserve status and started tactical training exercises while in the southern California region. For the following six months she served primarily at Yankee Station and before being assigned for duties relating to operation Deck House 11.
After the War
For a time, the Lofberg served in peacetime with the First and Seventh Fleets in the Pacific. However, she was decommissioned in 1971 and stricken from the Naval Register two years later. In 1974, she was sold to Taiwan for spare parts. For her heroic service during the Korean War, she received seven battle stars.
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.