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Asbestos on Coast Guard Cutters

Many Coast Guard Vessels built before the 1980s are known to contain asbestos.

United States Coast Guard cutter at dock in Alaska

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.

USCGC Comanche (WPG 76)

  • Classification: 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.

USCGC Gresham (WAVP 387)

  • Classification: Cutter
  • Status: Transferred to Maritime Administration 5/21/1973, Sold for Scrapping later that year.
  • Fleet: Coast Guard
  • Launch Date: 8/21/1943
  • Commission Date: 12/1/1947
  • Decommission Date: 4/25/1973

She began life as a motor torpedo boat tender USS Willoughby (AGP 9) and was acquired by the Navy in 1946. During World War II, she participated in the New Guinea campaign, Philippines campaign, and operations in Borneo. During the Vietnam War, she was tasked to operate in conjunction with the Navy in Operation Market Time (the interdiction of communist coastal arms and munitions traffic along the coastline) as well as support ground forces, resupply patrol boats and search and rescue operations.

USCGC Pandora (WPC 113)

  • Classification: Cutter
  • Status: Disposed of by scrapping
  • Fleet: Coast Guard
  • Launch Date: 6/30/1934
  • Commission Date: 11/1/1934
  • Decommission Date: 5/1/1959

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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