The USS McCall was launched in 1937 and received her commission in June of 1938. She had her shakedown training and then reported to the Pacific Ocean for duty. Here she was placed in the Destroyers Battle Force Group in 1939.
Action in World War II
She was at sea with the Enterprise when the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor in 1941. After hearing about the attack, the Enterprise’s battle group initiated a search for the Japanese fleet. They did manage to find one Japanese submarine that they sank. For the rest of 1941, the McCall acted as a screening ship for the Enterprise in and around the Hawaiian island chain.
The McCall headed west with the Enterprise and Yorktown for raids on the Marshalls and Gilbert island chains. They were able to launch several surprise attacks on these chains despite fierce counterattacks from Japanese planes. The McCall returned to Pearl Harbor in March and had patrol and escort duty in the Pacific. She sailed as far North as Alaska when the Japanese tried to take the Aleutians. She was overhauled later on in 1942 and joined in the battle for control of Guadalcanal. She then had escort duty in the region for ten months before escorting a convoy back to San Francisco; while in the harbor she received another overhaul.
Upon returning to the Pacific in early 1944, she served as an escort for the fast carrier strike forces. She took some damage that required repairs, but it did not take her out of the action for long. She returned in time to help support the landings in and around Guam. She launched some small raids on Iwo Jima to prevent reinforcements from coming to the aid of these forces. She helped in the Battle of Philippine Sea that would see the almost-total destruction of the Japanese force of carrier and float planes.
After the War
After the invasion of Iwo Jima the McCall would serve as an escort for the troop transports in the area. She would have an overhaul in New York later that year, but would not make it back to the war zone. After arriving at the Norfolk Navy Yard, she was decommissioned in 1945 and sscrapped in 1948.
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.