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Asbestos on Cargo & Liberty Ships

Fast combat support ships, designed during WWII, combined the functions of oilers, storage, and ammunition ships, leading to efficient naval operations. Crewmembers serving on these ships before 1980 were exposed to asbestos, risking diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer. Navy veterans who served aboard these vessels and later developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be entitled to financial compensation.

Navy Cargo Ship Asbestos Exposure Risks

Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the US during World War II. These ships were cheap and quick to build (most taking only 42 days to build) and came to symbolize US wartime industrial output. Eighteen US Shipyards built 2,751 Libertys by assembly line between 1941 and 1945 which is the largest number of ships produced to a single design. The first of these vessels was launched by President Roosevelt, in which he cited Patrick Henry’s 1775 speech that finished with “give me liberty or give me death” which in turn gave rise to the name of Liberty Ship.

Anyone who served on a Liberty Cargo ship should speak with their doctor regarding asbestos related diseases, such as Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer, and the treatment options available.

SS Harry Percy (2424) – Liberty Cargo Ship

  • Classification: Liberty Cargo Ship
  • Status: Sunk 1947
  • Launch Date: 12/18/1945
  • Commission Date: NA
  • Decommission Date: NA

USS Merrick (LKA 97) (ex- MC 219, AKA 97) – Navy Cargo Ship

  • Classification: Cargo Ship
  • Status: Disposed of by MARAD exchange
  • Fleet:
  • Launch Date: 1/28/1945
  • Commission Date: 3/31/1945
  • Decommission Date: 9/30/1969

Built in 1945 by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, the USS Merrick was a cargo ship designed to carry troops and supplies. It exposed many shipbuilders and veterans to asbestos dust.

USS Washburn (AKA 108) – Navy Cargo Ship

  • Classification: Attack Cargo Ship
  • Status: Sold for Scrap
  • Fleet: Pacific/Atlantic
  • Launch Date: 12/18/1944
  • Commission Date: 5/17/1945
  • Decommission Date: 5/16/1970

The USS Washburn carried passengers and equipment between various ports in the Western Pacific directly after the cessation of hostilities in support of the American occupation. She was called to Korea when hostilities broke out, where she sailed from Japan to Korea maintaining the flow of supplies and reinforcements to support the United Nations forces. USS Washburn earned five battle stars for her service during the Korean War. Periodically, throughout her career, a crisis would occur which took her to some of the world’s most troubled areas. In 1964, she was called to Vietnam, which dominated her time for the remainder of her career. The USS Washburn carried troops and supplied to different operational areas throughout the region earning her six battle stars for her service.

USS Whiteside (AKA 90) – Navy Cargo Ship

  • Classification: Attack Cargo Ship
  • Status: Sunk as Target
  • Fleet: Pacific
  • Launch Date: 6/12/1944
  • Commission Date: 9/11/1944
  • Decommission Date: 1/30/1958

The USS Whiteside participated in D-Day landings at Iwo Jima by sending supplies and ammunition ashore to assist the troops. She also conducted unloading operations off the coast of Okinawa. She earned two battle stars for her service during the Second World War. The USS Whiteside also participated in the Korean War, earning four battle stars for her service.

We Can Help

Asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma lawsuits involving active-duty or retired members of the U.S. military involve additional, complex legal issues and considerations.

At The Gori Law Firm, you’ll find lawyers with extensive experience in military asbestos and mesothelioma cases, and a staff that is highly qualified and specially trained to assist us in handling these difficult cases. We also work diligently to help people living with mesothelioma obtain a trial date within six to nine months from the time their lawsuit is filed.

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