The USS Trever (DD-339) was built by the Mare Island Navy Yard on August 12th, 1919. The destroyer was launched on August 3rd, 1922 with Lieutenant H.E. Snow in charge. The ship was placed in reserve after her sea test and was deployed on June 2nd, 1930. She was ordered to the Destroyer Division 15 and the ship was then sent to join Destroyer Division 10.
Action in World War II
On December 7th, 1941, the Trever was docked in Pearl Harbor with the Zane, the Wasmuth, and the Perry when Japanese fighters attempted to destroy the entire fleet. The U.S. destroyers began attacking the Japanese when they were spotted. The Trever’s gunners were able to destroy one fighter and another was hit by the U.S. and crashed near Beckoning Point.
For the next several months, the Trever was on duty for minesweeping missions; she was also on hand for protection duty and patrols. The destroyer was ordered to Mare Island Navy Yard for an update of her weaponry. The Navy Yard added 3-inch antiaircraft artilleries and 20-millimeter Oerlikon cannons.
The Trever was part of the first American attack when she joined the Task Force 62 in the war that occurred in the Pacific. The destroyer was put to work shielding transport vessels. The Japanese began firing on the American fleet, but the Trever was there to return fire.
On October 10th, the Trever was assigned to Mine Squadron 2 and was ordered to locate survivors from the Battle of Cape Esperance. She was able to find 34 men who survived. She was ordered back to the Solomons and was there when notice came that the Japanese was getting ready to attack. The outnumbered American fleet chose to head for safety alongside the Zane. They were able to outmaneuver the enemy, but not for long. The Japanese were able to hit the Zane and cut off the chase for the Trever to continue their original plan to attack Henderson Field.
Several days later the two vessels were once again moving supplies. Later while on guard duty to protect the LST-343, a U.S. supply ship, a Japanese biplane attacked, sending bombs down onto the American vessels. The Trever returned fire with her guns.
On September 22nd, 1945, the Trever was retired and removed from the Navy list December 5th, 1945. She was honored for her efforts during World War II with five 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.