Built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the USS Trenton was an Omaha-class light cruiser that weighed in at 7,050 tons. In April 1924 she was commissioned and in late May she traveled along the Mediterranean and Red Seas, eventually ending up in the Persian Gulf. In September, she returned to the U.S., operating out of Norfolk, Virginia. A gun Turret explosion killed several crewmen in mid-October. Two of the crew posthumously received the Medal of Honor for their attempts to avert this tragedy.
In February 1925, The USS Trenton headed to the Pacific to take part in fleet maneuvers. Trenton then went on a mid-year cruise with the Battle Fleet to visit Australia and New Zealand. From then until 1928, she stayed with the Scouting Fleet, serving in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. She then engaged in two missions to try to bring peace to Nicaragua. In March 1928, she participated in more fleet exercises in the Pacific, later going on to serve the next year in the Asiatic Fleet.
From 1929 through 1933, she served with the Scouting Fleet and also the Special Service Squadron. Trenton then spent her time during 1933-1934 in the Pacific, making another tour in the Latin America waters with the Special Service Squadron throughout 1934 and 1935. From 1936 to 1939, she returned to Battle Force duty in the Pacific Ocean and in 1938 she returned to Australia for a second time.
Action in World War II
The USS Trenton joined the Squadron 40-T in June 1939, spending her time during the outbreak and after the start of World War II serving in the Mediterranean. She then returned to the United States in mid-1940. Later that same year, she returned to the Pacific where she served out the rest of her active duty days. She joined the Southeast Pacific Force from 1941 through 1944, where she patrolled the west coast of South America and also along the Southern Pacific islands.
In mid-1944 the Trenton served in the Aleutians, operating the next year in the North Pacific. During that service, she helped in anti-shipping sweeps while also bombarding Japanese bases several times in the Kuril Islands. Two months after World War II ended, she was sent through the Panama Canal to Philadelphia. She was taken out of commission just before the end of 1944. In December 1946, she was sold for scrapping.
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.