USS Ramsay DD–124 (AG-98, DM-16)

The USS Ramsay was a Wickes-class destroyer, commissioned in February of 1919and launched in June of 1918. She had her shakedown training off the coast of Cuba and was ready for fleet maneuvers in April of the same year. She transferred to the San Diego Naval Yard and by 1920 was overhauled at Mare Island. In 1922, she was decommissioned and put into the Reserve Fleet. Eight years later, the Ramsay was reassigned as a mine layer and was reclassified DM-16. She was moved to Pearl Harbor until 1937 when she was decommissioned again.

Action in World War II

In December of 1940, the Ramsay saw combat action as a moored ship during the Pearl Harbor attack. She located a submarine during the attack and launched depth charges at her and sank it. She sank another eight days later. In early 1942, the Ramsay joined Task Force 19 and set defensive mine fields around Samoa. She returned to Pearl Harbor in July and performed escort duty near the Hawaiian chain before heading to the Aleutians in September. In November of 1942, she had another overhaul in California. She participated in the invasion of the Aleutians and then was assigned to the Submarine Training Force in 1945. The Ramsay was decommissioned on October 19, 1945 and struck from the Naval register on November 13th. She was sold on the 21st.

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.