USS McNair DD-679 (1943-1969)

The USS McNair was first launched on November 13, 1943, after being built in Kearny, New Jersey. The ship was commissioned on the December 30 under the command of Commander M.L. McCullough, Jr. She was sponsored by Mrs. F.V. McNair, Jr., daughter-in-law to the ship’s namesake, Rear Admiral McNair.

Action in World War II

On March 5, the McNair left New York for duty in the Pacific. Her first duty was providing fire support and anti-submarine patrols off of Saipan. In July, she provided fire support during the invasion of Tinain. On August 2, the McNair was detached from her battle group to leave for Guadalcanal and prepare for her next battle. Between the 6 and 21 of September, she provided support to ground forces that were taking the Palaus. After this battle she steamed forth to join forces in the Leyte Invasion. The McNair’s next duty was to provide support for the Iwo Jima offensive. Here, in the Lingayen Gulf, she provided escort service and fire power to the embattled ships in the area. The destroyer proudly sunk at least two kamikaze planes and provided support against many other Japanese attacks. After one battle, the USS Saratoga was severely damaged and the McNair provided escort service for this ship so it could receive repairs.  The McNair went on to serve as part of the Okinawa invasion force and was damaged during the initial fight. After being repaired, the ship was sent to do patrols in the Aleutians.

After the War

Upon receiving word that the Japanese had surrendered, the McNair was sent back to Japan to perform patrols. After the war she was decommissioned in San Francisco on May 28, 1946, and made part of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. The McNair was re-commissioned July 6, 1951, as tensions began to heat up in Korea. She joined the Atlantic Fleet and set forth for Korea, where she served as fire support for UN troops.  After returning home the McNair was sent across the ocean once again when problems arose in Lebanon. Here she patrolled the Red Sea until being called home as a training vessel. The McNair was de-commissioned on November 30, 1963, and became a part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.  The ship was awarded 10 battle stars during her time in service: eight stars for WWII service and two for service in Korea.

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. References: