The USS Noa DD 841 was constructed at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine and launched on July 30, 1945. The ship was officially commissioned on November 2, 1945 under the command of R.L. Nolan, Jr. and was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, making stops in Gibraltar, Naples, and Lisbon.
The Noa was assigned to maneuvers in the South Atlantic starting in 1947 and performed in training exercises over the next few years. Following an overhaul, the ship performed rescue, escort, and training operations from 1949 through 1951. In August of 1953, the ship embarked on a 42,000 mile around-the-world cruise, culminating in operations near the Sea of Japan, including readiness and training exercises.
Following additional operations off of the Korean coast, the Noa was reassigned to the Atlantic for hunter/killer duty. Following an overhaul in mid-1955, the ship was equipped with sonar devices and served in operations in the Key West region and eastern Atlantic area. The vessel participated in operations in the Caribbean through 1957.
After being outfitted with experimental radio equipment, the ship served in operations in the Persian Gulf before being sent to the Mediterranean in early 1959. This was followed by Sixth Fleet exercises and additional operations in the Caribbean and Atlantic coast region through 1960.
After another overhaul, the Noa was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and participated in training exercises with the British Navy. The ship then participated in operations in Dublin and Belfast before returning to training exercises in the Atlantic in early 1962.
The Noa performed space capsule recovery missions following modifications in early 1962. The ship continued in this capacity through 1962 before being sent to the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet through 1964. It resumed spacecraft recovery missions through 1966. Heading into 1967, the Noa served as school ship for the Fleet Sonar School.
The vessel then served in operations in the Mediterranean and was part of a burial at sea for retired captain George H. Flynt in January of 1968. Following an overhaul, the ship served in training exercises in Guantanamo and was later deployed to the Pacific. The ship was put on restricted availability in Jacksonville, Florida in the fall of 1968.
Following operations in the western Pacific, the Noa was decommissioned on October 31, 1973. The vessel was loaned to Spain and struck from the Naval Register on June 2, 1975.
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.