USS Myles C. Fox DD-829 (1945-1968)

The USS Myles C. Fox served for twenty-three years in the United States Naval fleet during the years 1945-1968. The ship served in the occupation Japan after World War II. She also served during the Vietnam War, providing gun support on various missions to troops.

Service in the Pacific

The destroyer served during the occupation until embarking for Saipan the ship then headed for the Marianas towards San Diego having veterans on-board for travelling home. She worked along the western seacoast until 1947, when she sailed for Asia, arriving during the spring. In the following several weeks, she functioned at essential locations like Korea, Singapore, Okinawa, and Hong Kong. The Fox, along with the Hawkins and British escort vessel HMS Hart, rescued the crew as well as travelers involving SS Hong Kheng soon after the voyager vessel had run aground upon Chilang Position several kilometers north from Hong Kong. Half a dozen watercraft, a few coming from each warship, and a couple boats out of Hong Kong, made seventy six excursions in order to save 800 people. The Fox left Yokosuka and arrived at San Diego. Following western coastline missions and an upgrade, she made yet another Asian tour, operating primarily near Tsingtao, China, alongside fast carrier forces. She subsequently worked out of San Diego until eventually embarking for the new home harbor, Newport, R.I. She ended up being re-designated a radar picket destroyer (DDR 829) in March 1949.  In 1961 the ship underwent overhaul and modernization, and she was re-designated DD 829 While away from Africa, she attempted to rescue the Swedish vessel M/V Palma. For three days, firefighting groups fought the fire until the Caloosahatchee (AO 98) and the Charles P. Cecil (DD 835) showed up to assist. The combined efforts of these U.S. Navy ships put out the fire, and saved the Palma.  In North Vietnam in 1967, the Fox undertook many fire assistance missions against enemy troops and installations. She was decommissioned in January 1968.

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.