The USS Remey DD 688, named for admiral George C. Remey, was constructed at the Bath Iron Works Corporation in Bath, Maine. The vessel was launched on July 25, 1943 and officially commissioned on September 30, 1943 under the command of Reid P. Fiala.
Action in World War II
The Remey served as the flagship for Destroyer Squadron 54 and was sent to the Pacific for escort duty. The ship also performed escort duty in the Panama Canal before heading to San Diego then to the Marshall Islands. After training missions in January of 1944, the ship participated in operations in the Marshall Islands and provided gunfire support to troops in Kwajalein.
The Remey carried out duties in Saipan and near Tinjan through the summer of 1944. In August, the ship was sent to the Marshall and Solomon Islands and assisted in preparations for the assault on the Palau Islands. Heading into the fall, the Remey was a part of the invasion of the Philippines.
In January of 1945, she served in operations in the New Guinea-Admiralty Islands regions and went on to participate in the bombardment of Japan. In February of 1945, she was involved in enemy strikes near Tokyo and Iwo Jima and went on to offer support in operations in additional assaults before heading to Leyte.
Action in Korea
The Remey remained in Japanese waters through the official surrender in September of 1945. The ship was in reserve in San Diego before being decommissioned on December 10, 1946. She was re-activated following the outbreak of the Korean conflict and re-commissioned on November 14, 1951. In early 1952, she assisted the Atlantic Fleet, served in operations in the Far East, and supported United Nations forces in Korea. She completed an around-the-world cruise by the end of 1952.
After the War
The Remey continued to provide support in the western Atlantic through the early 1956. She went on to participate in operations in the Mediterranean area and Suez Canal and performed exercises on the east coast through the spring of 1958 before being sent to the North Sea and the North Atlantic.
The Remey performed escort duties and served in the North Sea heading into the early 1960s and completed her service by performing training duties. She was decommissioned on December 30, 1963 and stricken from Naval records in December of 1974. She was sold for scrap in 1976.
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.