USS Spokane CL-120 (1946-1950)
On November 15, 1944, the USS Spokane was laid down in Kearny, New Jersey by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. On September 22, 1945, the USS Spokane was launched, and on May 17, 1946, it was commissioned. On October 7, 1946, the Spokane headed for Plymouth, England. The ship was part of the Second Fleet which was headed for European waters. While in European waters, the Spokane visited Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and Scotland. On January 27, 1947, the Spokane headed back towards the United States. On March 18, 1947, it arrived in Norfolk, Virginia.
On October 29, 1947, the Spokane left Norfolk, Virginia to meet up with the rest of the Second Task Fleet. The Spokane engaged in tactical exercises in Bermuda. On November 8, 1947, the Spokane headed for England. The Spokane reported for duty with the Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic, and Mediterranean.
The USS Spokane visited Prince Bernhard in Rotterdam, Netherlands on February 17, 1948. On March 1, 1948, the Spokane left Plymouth, England and entered Norfolk, Virginia on March 11, 1948. The Spokane’s designation was changed to CLAA-120 on March 18, 1948.
Between May 27, 1948 and September 15, 1948, the Spokane was at the New York Navy Yard to be overhauled. Its operations had been interrupted by the overhaul. Afterwards, the Spokane headed for the Mediterranean on January 4, 1949. The Spokane was visited by King Paul and Queen Fredrika of Greece on January 25, 1949. The Spokane and units belonging to the Sixth Fleet engaged in war games. The cruiser also visited Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, France, Sardinia, Italy, and Turkey. On May 23, 1949, the Spokane returned to Norfolk, Virginia.
During the summer, the Spokane was used as a training ship for the Naval Reserves belonging to the Fourth Naval District. Afterwards, the Spokane went to the Virginia Capes to engage in training exercises there.
The USS Spokane headed for New York on October 24, 1949 for inactivation. The Spokane was put on reserve and on February 27, 1950, it was decommissioned. Again, the USS Spokane was re-designated, this time as AG-191 on April 1, 1966. On April 15, 1972, the cruiser was removed from the Naval Vessel Register. The Luria Brothers and Company bought the Spokane on May 17, 1973 and eventually it was scrapped.
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.