Action in World War II
The USS Rooks was commissioned in September of 1944. She had her shakedown training in San Diego and made way to the Hawaiian Islands for training in amphibious landings and shore bombardment. She underwent training near Saipan alongside a group of LSTs. She arrived in Iwo Jima in February of 1945 and sent the LSTs out for radar picket duty.
In late February, the Rooks left Iwo Jima for Saipan and acted as a screen for transports and escorted carriers to Leyte. She arrived in Okinawa on Easter 1945 and downed six Japanese planes.
The Rooks also hunted for Japanese submarines was attacked on April 6th. She shot down six of the 110 planes that attacked her. She also escorted the USS Hyman to port after she had been damaged. The Rooks escorted minesweepers and functioned as a radar picket ship.
After the War
The Rooks returned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet in 1945 and was decommissioned in August of 1946. She had a short reactivation period in 1951 and served briefly with the Pacific Fleet before being sent to the Atlantic Fleet. She had an overhaul in 1952, then headed to Korean for combat duty.
In the middle of 1954, the Rooks had another overhaul; she was sent to the Mediterranean in February of 1955. She served as a training ship for students and was overhauled again. The Rooks served in the Atlantic Fleet until 1962, when she was loaned to Chile. She remained there until 1993.
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.