USS Buchanan (DD-484)
The Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Kearny, NJ built this Gleaves-class destroyer during the early years of the United States’ involvement in World War II. It measured over 348 feet, and carried a complement of 276 officers and men aboard. The Buchanan was commissioned in March of 1942 by the U.S. Navy, and was soon assigned to the Pacific Theater. It went on to earn sixteen battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation for its role in such operations as the invasion of the Philippines and the Battle of Savo Island. The ship was decommissioned in April of 1948, and sold to Turkey the following year.
It is likely that Navy veterans who were assigned to the USS Buchanan were exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Asbestos was common on Navy ships built prior to the mid-1970’s, and could be found in equipment such as boilers, turbines, pumps, valves, and electrical components. Materials including valves and gaskets were also often made entirely from asbestos. Sailors who served in the ship’s engine and boiler spaces were exposed with the most regularity, as these cramped and poorly ventilated areas contained a particularly high concentration of asbestos. The companies who provided the Navy with these asbestos products were mostly aware that asbestos could cause mesothelioma and other diseases, and yet never warned those serving aboard the USS Buchanan and other ships of the era.
Victims of asbestos have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can offset or cover the high costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. It is important to contact legal representation soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis is made however, as the law places limits on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed.