USS Tracy DD 214 (1920-1946)

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The USS Tracy was built by the William Cramp and Sons’ Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA. She was commissioned in March of 1920 and was commanded by Commander Lawrence P. Treadwell.

Following a shakedown cruise she returned to Philadelphia and was assigned to Destroyer Division 39. From there she sailed to the Near East and landed in Constantinople in June of 1920. She was then assigned to go to Russia to help refugees from the Bolshevik uprising.

In 1921 the Tracy sailed for the Far East and landed in the Philippines in August of 1921. Later, she worked independently within Chinese waters and then was assigned to sail to Japan for a goodwill cruise. She aided victims of an earthquake in Yokohama Japan. She stayed in the Far East until May of 1925 then sailed back to the United States.

The Tracy was refitted in San Diego and then departed in June to go through the Panama Canal up to New York City. She spent the next couple of years in the eastern waterways and assisted with an uprising in Nicaragua during November and December of 1926. She was overhauled in Norfolk then departed for a tour of the British Isles and Europe. In 1928, the Tracy was transferred to the Battle Fleet stationed in San Diego. She assisted with guarding planes but was assigned to the Far East in 1929.

The protocol was for the Tracy to alternate between China and the Philippines In 1931 and 1932, the Tracy mostly watched American interests in the area. She was once again assigned to the Battle Force and assigned to Pearl Harbor.  While at Pearl Harbor she was reclassified as a destroyer minelayer and received a new designation DM-19, assigned to Mine Division 1.

Action in World War II

On December 7, 1941 the Tracy was operating with a skeleton crew and was dismantled. The crew managed to assemble two 50 caliber Brownings, and three 30 caliber Lewis guns to assist in repelling the Japanese invasion. After the invasion the Tracy was assigned to war time operations.

During the Second World War the USS Tracy was involved in many of the key battles in the Pacific. Some of the duties including laying mines around US and allied bases, delivering important supplies, and escort duty.

In August of 1945, the Japanese surrendered and the Tracy was assigned to Nagasaki before heading for home. She was decommissioned in 1946 and sold for scrap.

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.

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