USS Anthony (DD-515)
Built in the midst of World War II by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, the USS Anthony was a Fletcher-class Destroyer commissioned by the U.S. Navy in February of 1943. It measured just over 376 feet in length, and carried a complement of 329 officers and enlisted men aboard. The vessel earned a Navy Unit Commendation for its performance in the Okinawa campaign, as well as seven battle stars over the course of the war for operations conducted mainly in the Pacific. After the Allied victory, the ship spent a short period assisting with the occupation of Japan, and was placed in reserve in April 1946. It was then loaned to the new German government in 1958, where it served until 1972.
Veterans who served on the USS Anthony are at risk of developing mesothelioma, due to the presence of asbestos on ships built during this era. Between the 1930’s and 1970’s, asbestos was a common shipbuilding material, and could be found in equipment such as electrical components, boilers, turbines, pumps, and valves. Materials including gaskets and packing were also often made entirely from asbestos. These asbestos products were located in an especially high concentration in the boiler and engine spaces, leaving those who worked in these areas at an elevated risk. The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were often aware of the negative effect asbestos has on the human body, but did nothing to warn those serving aboard the USS Anthony or its contemporaries. This caused veterans to develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases at a much higher rate than the general populous.
Victims of asbestos who served in the Navy have a right to seek compensation for their illnesses, and will not sacrifice VA benefits by doing so. Settlements can offset or entirely cover the costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. The time in which lawsuits may be filed is limited however, making it important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.