List of U.S. Navy Vessels That Used Asbestos
Aircraft carriers were critically important during wartime, helping shape the strategy of combat. Able to hold more than 3,000 soldiers and as long as 1,100 feet, these mobile air bases are the largest warships ever constructed. They are indispensable platforms that help greatly extend the military’s reach, enabling it to launch airstrikes against any target, anywhere in the world.
As the name indicates, amphibious warships–commonly referred to as “gator freighters”– travel on water in support of ground assaults. In addition to transporting troops, they host aircraft, carry landing craft and provide suppressive fire and cover for other ships. Amphibious warships were first used widely during World War II due to the complexity of coastal area campaigns.
Battleships have served a vital role throughout the history of naval conflict. The most important vessels in the U.S. Navy fleet prior to World War II, advancements in weapons technology made them largely obsolete by the early 1940s. Far too vulnerable to mines, aircraft and torpedoes, these grand ships were largely replaced by aircraft carriers in the Second World War and completely decommissioned by the 1990s.
Cruisers took on the role of direct-combat surface ships as production of battleships ceased in the later 20th century. Each of these large, powerful vessels served its own specialized function, including guided missile cruisers, aircraft cruisers, battlecruisers and command cruisers. While a few remain in service, these ships were critically important to the U.S. Navy fleet throughout much of the 1900s.
Destroyers are built largely for speed and elusiveness and are therefore smaller than cruisers and battleships. The main function of a destroyer is to help defend larger vessels from attacks by quick, agile enemy craft. As battleship production ceased and the use of cruisers began to decline, destroyers became the most heavily armored and armed surface-combat ships.
Destroyer escorts are smaller than full-size destroyers and used mainly for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine purposes. The U.S. Navy used these small, agile vessels to help defend unarmed Merchant Marine ships during the Second World War. They share the same design as destroyers but are not as fast. There were more than 450 of these vessels constructed after 1941. By the 1970s destroyers became known as frigates.
Escort carriers provided substantial advantages over standard aircraft carriers because they were easier and less expensive to build. The Navy was thus able to deploy these vessels when larger carriers were unavailable. Escort carriers were mainly used during World War II to help protect Allied convoys from attacks by German U-boats.
Frigates were mainly built during and after the Second World War. Prior to the 1970s they were referred to as destroyer escorts. While they were used primarily in an anti-submarine role, frigates were also used to defend convoys. These are substantially different from prior vessels that were also known as frigates.
These specialized vessels were constructed with equipment that could detect, neutralize and safely remove naval mines. Minesweepers not only saved countless lives, they also helped prevent damage to the U.S. Navy fleet and kept America’s sea trade up and running. Thanks to minesweepers, crucial supply lanes remained open and vessels were able to operate freely.
Among the most well-known naval vessels, submarines were also some of the most deadly ships in the U.S. Navy arsenal, able to provide tactical and strategic advantages during wartime. Submarine use dates back to World War I and these craft, capable of sustained underwater operation, remain a naval fleet mainstay. They range in size from small vessels built for stealth to huge ships that can carry a crew of nearly 100 sailors.