USS Manchester CL-83 (1946-1956)
Cleveland-class light cruiser, the USS Manchester, labeled CL-83, was commissioned in October of 1946 and built in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1947, it made the first of four deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, the last of which occurred in early 1949.
In March, it was transferred to the Pacific to aid in war efforts, where it remained until November. It was one of only 27 Cleveland-style cruisers still actively on duty at the outbreak of the Korean War, around which time it was sent to the Asiatic sea to lend its hand in combat.
Action in the Korean War
In September of 1951, the Manchester took part in the invasion of Inchon, where it provided fire support. Through the rest of that year and until May of 1951, it served along the Korean Coast, firing at enemy troops and bases. In October and November of 1950, it briefly lent itself to the Taiwan Straits where it patrolled the area.
It was involved in two more combat deployments in the Korean War during the end of 1951 into early 1952 and again in early 1953, where its primary responsibilities where active blockade and bombardment, mainly off of eastern Korea. It was involved in the extended Siege of Wonsan, an 861 day-long siege that took place in Korea in 1951.
After the War
Even after the conclusion of the U.S. involvement in the Korean Conflict, the Manchester continued its patrols in the western Pacific waters, and was a part of two more deployments, one in 1954 and the other in 1955. It was also a part of bringing Korean War Unknown Servicemen to Hawaii for burial in 1956.
As a result of some of the damages it had sustained during its involvement in the many Korean War skirmishes, it was deemed unfit for further duty and was officially decommissioned in June of 1956. It lay inactive for several years before being dismantled and sold for scrapping in 1960, ending its sixteen years as a vessel of the U.S. Navy.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, naval cruisers 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.