The USS Stribling (DD-867) was the second destroyer to carry the name Stribling. This ship was first laid down on January 1, 1945, at Staten Island, New York, launched on June 8 and officially commissioned on September 29 under the command of Commander J.D. Buckeley. The Stribling was sponsored by Mrs. W. Hunter Powell.
The Stribling first reported for Sonar Training School in Key West, Florida in 1945. Between 1948 and 1955 she was sent on several deployments from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. The United Nations flag was flown on the ship in 1948 during Palestine patrol. In 1949 the Stribling visited a Spanish port, the first American vessel to accomplish this since 1936. She remained in this area until 1953 when she was called back to Norfolk.
Service in Korea and Vietnam
The ship was called to duty in the Pacific on August 23, 1953, via the Panama Canal. The Stribling operated in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Korea until she started back for Norfolk in March 1954. Returning to the East Coast of the United States by going through the Mediterranean and crossing the Atlantic, the Stribling circled the globe on one duty mission.
Between 1954 and 1960 the Stribling performed operations off the U.S. East Coast and the Caribbean. She was, for a short period in 1958, deployed to Lebanon during an uprising in that country. During the period of June 1960 to April 1966, the Stribling underwent extensive repairs and refits. The crew was retrained and then participated in NATO exercises. In February 1962 the ship provided watch for the recovery of John Glenn. Also during this period she made four separate deployments to the Middle East.
On January 30, 1969, the Stribling was deployed once again to the Far East, this time to provide assistance during the Vietnam War. The ship remained in this area until late in the year, providing gunfire and rescue assistance. In 1970, after returning to her home port of Mayport, the Stribling began routine deployments to the Mediterranean. She pursued a nuclear submarine for two days during the Jordanian crisis of 1972. After this last deployment, she was again sent for duty in Vietnam where she remained until 1975.
After the War
The USS Stribling was decommissioned on July 1, 1976, and struck from the Naval register the same day. She was sunk for target practice in 1980. For service in the Vietnam War, the Stribling earned two battle stars.
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.