USS Rupertus DD 851 (1946-1973)
The USS Rupertus served in the United States Naval fleet for 27 years from 1946-1973, during which she served proudly during the Korean War and provided gun support during the Vietnam War as well. On her initial deployment, she patrolled through china and Taiwan, but specifically to Tsingtao, China. While in the Asian Pacific, she went back to Tsingtao to become one of the last three United States warships to abandon that harbor just before it fell to the Communists.
Action in the Korean War
The Rupertus returned to San Diego for missions in the far eastern Pacific and overhaul; she left San Diego to perform with U.N. troops off Korea. She escorted the vessel the Sicily (CVE-118) from Sasebo to Hungnam, Korea. After that, she worked together with blockades and escorts from the western coastline of Korea and within the Yellow Seashore. Leaving and steaming to Wonsan, the Rupertus spent ten days off the shoreline in close proximity to Songju and fired thousands of rounds of ammo at shoreline targets. The Rupertus endured constant combat service until she made way to Inchon for the duration of the armistice discussions. The Rupertus sailed out again to rejoin the 7th Fleet Performing preliminary with carrier TF 77, she subsequently left to assist with bombing raids in the Hungnam-Hannum region with Manchester (CL-83) and saved an airplane pilot originally from Boxer (CV-21) despite the fact that she was under attack from significant Communist shoreline battery attacks.
Action in the Vietnam War
Right after the Korean cease fire, the Rupertus carried on her deployments. She worked off the coast of Vietnam throughout the Communist attacks in 1961. After she arrived in Vietnamese seas for the purpose of "Market Time" missions, she boarded and examined numerous vessels and warships off South Vietnam in search of Communist smuggled weapons and provided gunfire assistance to U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. The Rupertus, home ported at Extended Seaside, sailed to the Far East once more, showing up at Yankee Station within the Gulf of Tonkin in July. Together with the Forrestal (CVA-59), when a series of explosions briefly impaired the huge carrier, the Rupertus maneuvered to within twenty five feet from the disabled vessel and assisted in combating fires. In 1973, the ship was transferred to the Greek navy where she continued to serve until 1994 before retiring. The USS Rupertus was awarded with seven battle stars for her outstanding service during the Korean War.
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.