USS Norman Scott DD-690 (1944-1973)
The USS Norman Scott DD-690 was constructed by Bath Iron works in Bath, Maine, and named after Rear-Admiral Norman Scott (1889–1942). This Fletcher-class destroyer was sponsored by Mrs. Norman Scott. She was put into commission on November 5th 1943, and Commander Seymour D. Owens was chosen to captain.
Action in World War II
The Scott’s first duty was to escort the Canberra from Boston to Pearl Harbor, leaving on January 14th, 1944 and getting there on February 1st. Upon arrival she was sent to the Marshalls to guard from Gambier Bay to Majuro during the Marshall Islands Campaign. After this she was sent back to Pearl Harbor, where she got ready to participate in the Marianas assault. Her duties here were to provide gun support for the invasion of Tinian and Saipan on June the 15th. She also acted as an escort for heavy bombardment ships.
On June 24th, while in Tinian, she sustained damage from enemy fire. Twenty two crewmen were killed, including her captain, and fifty more were wounded. She went to Saipan for repairs, and then returned to Pearl Harbor and Mare Island on the 28th of June. The Navy completed repairs by October the 21st. She took part in training in the waters near Hawaii, and then made her way to Manus to escort transports to the Philippines until February 9th, 1945. Then she was deployed to help with the assaults on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, joining the 3rd and 5th Fleet’s fast carrier task forces in the western Pacific.
After the War
The Scott was then assigned to the Japanese naval base at Yokosuka to help with occupation efforts. She made her way for a short visit to Okinawa. She arrived on October 27th for Navy Day celebrations in Tacoma, Washington. Re-stationed in San Francisco, she was put out of commission on April 30th, 1946. She was placed in reserve in San Diego, California. In 1947, the Navy moved her to Mare Island where she stayed until 1973. She was stricken from the Naval register on April 15th, 1973 and sold for scrap on December 3rd, 1973.
The USS Norman Scott was awarded 5 battle stars for her service during the war.
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.