The USS Paul Hamilton was commissioned in October of 1943 and had her shakedown drills off the coast of Bermuda. The Paul Hamilton served near Chesapeake Bay, but was based in Norfolk, Virginia. She served as a destroyer training unit for sailors and left Norfolk in April of 1944 for Pearl Harbor.
Once at Pearl Harbor, the Paul Hamilton served as an escort for replenishment plane carriers and fueling groups. She served with the Third Fleet when they landed in Saipan and performed escort duty for Task Force 58 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She then resumed her duties of serving with the replenishment planes and fueling groups of the Third Fleet.
In January of the next year, the USS Paul Hamilton served as a screening ship instead of an escort for the assault of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. She saved seventy three of the survivors of the Ommaney Bay conflict. Her supplies were replenished in Ulithi. She participated in the assault of the island of Iwo Jima; she had life guard duty for pilots, bombarded the shore, and lent fire support.
She left Okinawa in June of 1945 headed to San Diego for an overhaul. The war came to a conclusion before she was finished and she was sent to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register in May of 1968.
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.