This Forrest Sherman-class Destroyer was built in Quincy, MA by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at their Fore River Shipyard in the mid-1950s. Measuring 418 feet in overall length, the ship carried a complement of 233 officers and enlisted men. It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in November of 1957, and in 1958 was chosen as the ship to carry the American Unknown Soldier of the European Theater from Naples to Washington D.C. It was taken out of commission in November of 1982, and struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1990.
Navy veterans who served aboard the USS Blandy are at risk of developing serious health conditions due to the asbestos exposure they likely faced in the line of duty. Ships built for the Navy prior to the mid-1970’s often used asbestos in much of the on-board equipment, including valves, boilers, electrical components, pumps, and turbines. Materials such as packing and gaskets were also often made entirely from asbestos. The companies that produced and sold the asbestos components to the Navy were generally aware that asbestos could cause deadly and incurable diseases such as mesothelioma, but did nothing to warn those serving on the USS Blandy or other ships. As a result, the rate at which mesothelioma develops amongst Navy veterans is considerably higher than that of the general population.
Asbestos victims who served in the Navy have a right to seek compensation from the companies responsible for their conditions. Settlements can help cover the often staggering costs of health care, and may provide additional sums for an individual’s pain and suffering. The law limits the amount of time in which a lawsuit can be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis is made.