USS O’Hare DD-889 (1945-1975)
The USS O’Hare was built by the Consolidated Steel Corp. of Orange, Texas in January of 1945. She was launched in June of the same year and received her commission in November of that year, after the Japanese surrendered. Her commanding officer was R. W. Leach.
Service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean
In February of 1946, the O’Hare had her shakedown cruise and began operations from New Brunswick to the Florida Keys. In 1948 she departed from Norfolk for to take her place as a United Nations evacuation ship near Hafia, Palestine from June until the end of July during the Arab-Israeli conflict. She finally returned to her home port in September of that year, marking the end of her first deployment with the Sixth Fleet. She had eight more tours with the Sixth Fleet, all of them ended before 1962.
The O’Hare underwent frequent NATO training exercises to new ports of call as well as sporadic rescue missions. She received commendations her rescue operations that she would undertake. After modernization, In July of 1966, the O’Hare steamed to the Pacific Ocean to her new duty station off the coast of Vietnam. The ship returned to Norfolk after sailing around the globe in December of that year.
The O’Hare was decommissioned on October 31, 1073.She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on June 2, 1975 and was loaned to the Spanish Navy.
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.