The USS Rochester was an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser, weighing in at 13,700 tons. It was built in Quincy, Massachusetts and commissioned in December of 1946 and spent three years of service in the Atlantic Ocean. It had one deployment into the Mediterranean Sea in early 1948. It was sent over to the Pacific Ocean in early 1950 and became the Seventh Fleet flagship in the Far East.
Action in the Korean War
It remained in this position until January of 1951 and played an active role in the Korean War operations, patrolling the Formosa Straits to ensure that the shipping lanes remained open for everyone. The USS Rochester made two more Korean War tours from 1951 all the way into 1953. It was then sent back to the states to receive some of the modern updates that it needed. Some of those updates included new anti-aircraft guns, and even more equipment than what it was expecting to obtain.
For the rest of the 1950s the Rochester remained in the Far East serving with the Seventh Fleet for five more deployments. The ninth and final Western Pacific deployment took place from April to October of 1960. This was the last tour that the cruiser took before it was sent to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and was decommissioned in August of 1961.
The USS Rochester was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in October of 1973 and sold for scrapping.
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.