The Mare Island Navy Yard of Vallejo, CA began construction on this Wickes-class Destroyer at the very end of the First World War. It measured just over 314 feet in length, and carried a complement of 122 officers and men. Although initially commissioned in September of 1918, the ship only remained in active service for three years before being returned to the U.S. Navy’s Reserve Fleet. However, the ship was returned to duty in December of 1931, after which it was reclassified as a Minesweeper and served in American waters in the Pacific until 1940. When Japanese forces struck Pearl Harbor, the Boggs remained stationed at the base, acting as a patrol vessel and continuing its minesweeping duties until the end of World War II. It was decommissioned in March of 1946.
Navy veterans who served aboard the USS Boggs were likely exposed to asbestos at some point during their regular course of duty. Asbestos was found on most ships built between the 1930’s and the mid-1970’s, in equipment including boilers, valves, pumps, turbines, and electrical components. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made entirely from asbestos. The engine and boiler spaces held an especially high concentration of these asbestos products, placing Boiler Tenders, Machinist’s Mates, and others who worked in these areas in daily contact with airborne asbestos fibers. The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products typically knew of the extreme dangers associated with asbestos, but in the interest of profit, did nothing to warn those serving aboard the USS Boggs and its contemporaries.
Victims of asbestos who were assigned to the USS Boggs or other ships from the era have a right to seek compensation for their conditions. Settlements can provide money to cover the costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. Statutes of limitation have been placed on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.