A Cutter, the USCGC Comanche was launched in 1934, when asbestos was used throughout ships. She exposed many builders and veterans to asbestos.
USCGC Comanche (WPG 76) – United States Coast Guard Cutter
Status: Disposed of by sale and later sunk as an artificial reef.
Fleet: Coast Guard
Launch Date: 9/6/1934
Commission Date: 12/1/1934
Decommission Date: 7/29/1947
The USCGC Comanche made history in 1940 when she transported the first American Consul to Greenland, which began a close association between Greenland and the US Coast Guard during World War II. She was permanently transferred to the Navy on July 1, 1941 in which she was used primarily for convoy escort to Greenland waters. The USCGC Comanche was sent on several ice breaking missions and frequently met incoming convoys and relieved their escorts. She is also known for her mission to the east coast of Greenland, where she established an Ice Cap Station. Subsequently, the bay was named Comanche Bay in honor of the cutter Comanche. There was a catastrophic incident in 1943 in which the USCGC Comanche was involved in the rescue of 93 men from the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Sunk in less than twenty minutes after being attacked by a submarine, the Dorchester crew members were in desperate need of a rescue. The USCGC Comanche steamed to her aid, and three officers and nine enlisted men from the Comanche volunteered to go over the side of their ship in attempts to rescue survivors from the water. A total of 225 men were saved from the water by the rescue ships. Sadly, despite the efforts of the Comanche and the Escanaba (a ship that was also nearby and responded to the call), 656 passengers of the Dorchester perished. The courage of these rescuers from the Comanche and Escanaba and three Army Chaplains who perished after voluntarily giving up their life jackets to other survivors were later recognized by Congress.
A cutter is a small or medium sized vessel whose occupants exercise official authority. These ships have permanently assigned crews. Generally, they can be characterized by one mast and a bowsprit. The Navy used these ships as coastal patrols, custom duties, escort, small raids, law enforcement, and for carrying personnel and dispatches. Befitting their size, these ships were lightly armed, usually six to twelve small cannons.
Anyone who served on a cutter should speak with their doctor regarding asbestos related diseases, such as Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer, and the treatment options available.
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Asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma lawsuits involving active-duty or retired members of the U.S. military involve additional, complex legal issues and considerations.
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