USS Philippine Sea
One of 24 Essex-class Aircraft Carriers built for the U.S. Navy during or just following World War II, the USS Philippine Sea was constructed by Bethlehem Steel’s Fore River Shipyard and commissioned in May of 1946. The Philippine Sea was originally deployed in the Atlantic, but several deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific followed. It measured 888 feet in length, carried a complement of 3,448 officers and men, and held between 90 and 100 aircraft. It won nine battle stars over the course of over twelve years of service, and was decommissioned in December 1958.
Many veterans who served on the USS Philippine Sea were likely exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Between the 1930’s and 1970’s, U.S. Navy ships regularly used asbestos in their on-board equipment, including in boilers, pumps, valves, turbines, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. Much of this was located in the boiler and engine spaces, leaving Machinists’ Mates, Firemen, Boiler Tenders, and others who worked in these areas at increased risk of exposure. The companies who sold these asbestos products to the Navy were often aware of how dangerous their products could be, but did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Philippine Sea or its contemporaries.
Veterans who have fallen victim to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses have a right to seek compensation. These diseases were caused by negligence, and victims of this negligence may recoup medical expenses and additional sums for pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit. The law limits time in which legal action can be undertaken however, so it is important to seek counsel soon after receiving a diagnosis.