USS Yazoo AN-92 (YN-121)
The Yazoo was a single-turreted, twin-screw monitor which was completed on the 15th of December in 1865. It only took about two and a half years to construct by Merrick & Sons, located in Philadelphia. As a Casco-class vessel, the Yazoo had the specific purpose of maneuvering through shallow inlets.
On December 20th, 1865, the Navy ordered the ship to be laid up and to have 22 inches for sufficient freeboard. On July 6th, 1944, the Yazoo was laid down and subsequently given its commission on the 31st of May in 1945. Under the command of Lt. Lionel Krisel, the Yazoo departed Duluth on the way to Boston to get “fitted out”. Afterwards, the ship performed net-laying operations for the next 18 months.
In early 1948, the Yazoo was ordered to ice-breaking duties in the Narragansett Bay due to freezing weather. For the next 2 years, the ship operated as a target for submarines during battlefield exercises. From September 1950 to December 1952, the Yazoo laid nets and also took part in mining exercises out of Key West in Florida before ending up in Chesapeake Bay.
In early 1953, semi-permanent mine tracks were laid that enabled the ship to carry 24 moored-type mines. The Yazoo continued her operations until the summer of 1955, where she took part in one of the largest mine exercises ever held by the Coast Guard. Afterwards, she continued her mine-laying exercises in Charleston, the Everglades, and Key West. Until early 1958, the ship sailed with many others during mining exercises. The first three weeks of 1958 saw the ship training with the Harbor Defense Unit at Norfolk until going to Charleston to compete in the amphibious exercises with the Atlantic Fleet. In mid-1858, the Yazoo took part in mine-clearing exercises and in “Operation Clean-Sweep IV” near Charleston. In the later part of 1960, the ship took part in “Operation Clean Sweep V”, in which it gained praise for towing ships. She continued doing this until August 28, 1962 at which time she was decommissioned.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed 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.