The USS Moale, named for Lt. Edward Moale, Jr., launched on 16 January 1944 with Comdr. Walter M. Foster in command, and sponsored by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Edward S. Moale.
Action in World War II
After her launch, the Moale remained on the Atlantic coast conducting experimental tests and training precommissioned destroyer crews. Reporting to Pearl Harbor on September 15, she underwent carrier screening, night firing, and shore bombardment exercises until October 23.
The Moale departed for Leyte on December 17. On January 3, 1945, she was once again en route to an assault area. On February 10, the Allied force deployed from Ulithi and conducted strikes against the enemy’s capital. On the 18th, the Moale screened the carriers as they provided air cover for the marines on Iwo Jima.
Having sustained extensive damage, she departed eastward for repairs at Pearl Harbor, then arrived at Hagushi Anchorage in Okinawa on June 7. She left for Leyte, and then returned to Okinawa. At the end of the month, she once again anchored in Leyte, and on 15 August, she received word of the Japanese surrender.
After the War
For the next month, she served as a weather ship and air route radio beacon. On September 27, she departed for the west coast and peacetime duty. The Moale remained in operation off the west coast until May 21, 1946, returning to the west coast for overhaul at Bremerton in August. In the spring of 1949, she transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and participated in training exercises in the western Atlantic until November 1950, when she sailed eastward for her first 6th Fleet deployment.
On 24 April 1953, the Moale departed on an around-the world-voyage, spending four months with the UN forces off the coast of Korea, and remained after the truce as a unit of the security patrol. From 1954, into 1969, the USS Moale performed operations in the Atlantic, North Sea, and the Caribbean. Highlights of her career included patrol duty during the Israeli-Egyptian war of 1956, recovery ship for the astronaut Scott Carpenter’s Mercury mission, and participated in the Cuban Quarantine, October 1962.
In 1973, the USS Moale was stricken from the Naval Register and subsequently sold for scrap. She received five battle stars for service in World War II and one for 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.