This Gleaves-class Destroyer was built by the Philadelphia Naval Yard in the midst of World War II. At a length of over 348 feet, the ship carried a complement of 276 officers and men on board. The U.S. Navy commissioned the Butler in August of 1942, and assigned it to duty in the Atlantic as an escort. It earned four battle stars over the course of the war, for operations including the Invasion of Normandy, as well as the assault on Okinawa, for which the ship was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation. The vessel served through the end of the war, and was decommissioned in November of 1945.
Navy veterans who served aboard the USS Butler were likely exposed to asbestos in the line of duty. Ships built for the Navy prior to the mid-1970’s often used asbestos in a great deal of equipment, including boilers, electrical components, pumps, valves, and turbines. Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made entirely from asbestos. The companies that produced and sold the asbestos to the Navy often knew that asbestos could cause mesothelioma and other incurable diseases, but did nothing to warn those serving on the USS Butler or other ships.
Victims of asbestos who served in the Navy have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can help cover the often overwhelming costs associated with battling mesothelioma, and may provide additional sums for 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.