The USS Omaha was a 7,050 ton light cruiser and was commissioned in February of 1923 in Tacoma, Washington. It served in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans during its first few years of peace, and traveled to the Mediterranean Sea in the late 1930s.
Action in World War II
When World War II broke out in Europe, the Omaha partook in the Neutrality Patrols of the Atlantic. On November 6th, 1941, it helped to capture a German blockade runner, the Odenwald.
When the United States finally entered World War II in December, the Omaha continued its South Atlantic operations. It was based in Brazil with other cruisers of the Fourth Fleet of the navy. While in this position, it took part in the surveys of possible sites for future bases and actively searched for German commerce raiders and blockade raiders.
While serving as the flagship, the Omaha and its destroyer escort encountered and sank two German blockade runners. The Omaha then aided in the rescue of the German crewmen.
In August of 1944, the Omaha was sent into the war front again, but this time it assisted in the invasion of Southern France.
After the War
The Omaha it resumed its South Atlantic patrol until Japan surrendered in August of 1945. It was decommissioned in November of the same year and in 1946 it was scrapped in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, naval cruisers 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.