|Type:||Light Aircraft Carrier|
Built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, NJ, the USS Monterey was an Independence-class Aircraft Carrier that served in World War II and the Korean War. The ship was originally laid down as a light Cruiser, and was reclassified as a light Aircraft Carrier in March 1942. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in June of 1943, and entered the Pacific Theater soon after. Measuring 622.5 feet fore-to-aft, the Monterey carried a complement of 1,569 officers and men, and held 45 aircraft. The vessel earned eleven battle stars of the course of its service, before being decommissioned in January 1956.
Those who served on the USS Monterey were likely exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. From the 1930’s until the mid-1970’s, asbestos was commonly found in equipment on Navy ships, including boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. These were found in a high concentration in the boiler and engine spaces, which put veterans who worked in these areas such as Boiler Tenders and Machinist’s Mates at an increased risk. The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were often aware of asbestos’ effect on the human body, but did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Monterey or other ships from this era. As a result, many Navy veterans contracted mesothelioma, a cancer only known to be caused by asbestos.
Between the costs of medical care and the pain and suffering victims of asbestos must endure, the physical and emotional toll can be enormous. Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness have a right to seek compensation from the companies whose negligence allowed them to be exposed to asbestos. Legal counsel should be sought soon after receiving a diagnosis however, as the time in which a lawsuit can be filed is limited.