The USS Anderson was a Sims-class destroyer built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company during the arms buildup prior to World War II, and was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in May of 1939. It measured 348 feet from bow to stern and carried a complement of 192 officers and men. The ship began its service prior to the American entrance to the Second World War, and briefly joined the Atlantic Fleet after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, the ship was reassigned to the Pacific Theater, where it participated in both the Battle of Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, amongst conducting other operations. By the end of the war, it had earned ten battle stars for its service. The Anderson was then assigned duty as a target in the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests in 1946, which resulted in its destruction. The vessel was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in September of that year.
Those who served on the USS Anderson were likely exposed to asbestos over the course of regular duty. Between the 1930’s and mid-1970’s, asbestos was commonly used in the construction of Navy ships, and could be found in equipment including valves, pumps, turbines, boilers, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made entirely from asbestos. The boiler and engine spaces on these ships were especially hazardous, as they held a high concentration of asbestos products in a confined and poorly ventilated area. Although the companies who made these asbestos products typically understood the dangers of asbestos, they did nothing to warn those who served on the USS Anderson or other ships from the era.
Veterans who have fallen victim to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can offset or cover the often overwhelming costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. The law limits the amount of time in which victims may file a lawsuit however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.