USS Parker DD-604 (1942-1971)
Action in World War II
Named for Foxhall A. Parker, Jr., the USS Parker was commissioned in 1942. Following her launch in the Atlantic Ocean, the USS Parker served as an escort ship to and from various North African ports. She also served on escort duty around Great Britain and in the Mediterranean Sea. In November 6, 1943, during an escort mission, the convoy she was in was attacked by 30 planes. She managed to shoot one of the attacking planes down without sustaining damage. In early 1944, the USS Parker was on training missions in Casco Bay, Maine. In April, she began working on a submarine patrol. Then, she deployed to the Mediterranean Sea where the submarine patrol continued. She also escorted convoys between Sicily and Naples and Leghorn. In the middle of August, the USS Parker assisted in the invasion of Southern France. After successfully completing her mission, she set out for home in the beginning of September. After arriving back in the United States in 1945, the USS Parker went to Charlestown, Massachusetts to be repaired. She then went south to Virginia for additional training. After training was completed, the USS Parker went back to Mediterranean Sea. Shortly after arriving, she set out with a convoy back to the United States. She operated in the Mediterranean until arriving back in New York in May, 1945. The USS Parker was sent to Guantanamo, Bay, Cuba for more training exercises. After completing these exercises, she was relocated to the Pacific Ocean to build up forces against the Japanese threat. In July of 1945, she was relocated to her new home port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She continued operating as a convoy escort in the Pacific Ocean, working between Japan and Korea. After the war was over, in the beginning of 1947, the USS Parker returned to her home port. She was decommissioned and put into the U.S. Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was kept at Charleston, South Carolina. In 1971, the ship was taken out of the United States Navy Registered. In 1973, the ship was sold for scrap. During her service during World War II, the USS Parker received four battle stars.
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.