The USS Timmerman DD-828 was constructed at the Bath Iron works in Bath, Maine, and was laid down on October 1, 1945. After a long delay in construction, she was launched on May 19 of 1951, joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, and was put into commission on September 26, 1952, under the command of Commander Edward E. Hoffmann. Her namesake was Grant F. Timmerman (1919-1944), a Medal of Honor Recipient who died in the fight against the Japanese at Saipan.
Service as an Experimental Vessel
The Timmerman was an advanced-design Gearing-class destroyer. On January 7, 1946, after she was only about halfway done, work on her was suspended. Construction was later completed, and her hull designation was changed to EDD-828. She was designed to be much more powerful than her fellow Gearing-class destroyers, boasting 100,000 shp (75,000 kW) in comparison to the normal Gearing’s 60,000 shp (45,000 kW). Her superstructure was aluminum.
She was built to be a light, very advanced destroyer to evaluate experimental engineering equipment under battle conditions. She went on, as a unit of the Operational Development Force, 1st Naval District out of Boston, Massachusetts. The Navy did extensive testing on her special propulsion system, but after 48 months her hull number was again changed to AG-152 and she became a miscellaneous auxiliary ship with no further duties planned.
Two years later, on July 27, 1956, she was taken out of commission. After this she was put in reserve in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September. She was struck from the naval lists in 1958 and deemed unfit for further military service on April 4th. She was sold to Boston Metals Company for scrap on April 21, 1959.
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.