The Morrison made its first launch on July 4, 1943 from the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation; the ship’s sponsor, Miss Margaret M. Morrison, helped to commission the USS Morrison into service on December 18, 1943. Commander Walter H. Price led the ship on its maiden voyage, beginning its tour of duty on February 25, 1994 from Seattle with first stop at Pearl Harbor then to Marshall Islands, in route for the South Pacific seas.
Action in World War II
In mid April of 1944, the Morrison rendezvoused with TG-50.17 to perform screening operations at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralties at the time of fueling for the carriers; from there the Carolines to strike Japanese installations.
The Morrison returned to the Pearl Harbor port on May 9, 1944, to participate in the amphibious training for the Marianas operation. The Morrison, departing from Pearl Harbor on May 31, 1944, stopped at Roi, Marshalls Islands and arrived east of Saipan on June 13, 1944 for gun support. The Morrison fought off air attacks with little aide from air support from June 17 to 19, 1944. Forty enemy planes approached the Morrison during the night attacks of June 17 and only 15 of those planes made it past the Navy’s carrier interceptor planes; the Morrison shot 3 of those enemy planes down.
On August 2, 1944, the USS Morrison joined with TG 58.4 off the coast of Guam for flight operations during the landings of July 21, 1944. The Morrison voyaged from Guam to Eniwetok, Marshalls Islands, leaving on August 29, 1944 to the Philippines Islands. The Morrison arrived on September 9, 1944 at Mindanao and led an interception strike against a Japanese convoy of 50 sampans and freighters, destroying 15 sampans.
The Morrison was on tour in the Leyte Gulf on October 23 to 26, 1944, operating off the coast of Luzon. It aided in the rescue of the Princeton (CVL-23) and recovered 400 survivors. After the rescue, it aided the Birmingham (CL-62) in returning enemy fire. The Morrison received unrecoverable damage on April 30, 1945 and sank.
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.