The third USS Kearsarge CV-33 was named after the Civil War-era ship USS Kearsarge, a steam sloop. Built by the New York Naval Shipyard, the Kearsarge was launched in 1945 with a crew of nearly 3,500. She traveled extensively, with service in campaigns and actions in:
The Korean War
The Far East
The Project Mercury space program
The war in Viet Nam
Battle Stars for Combat Service
The USS Kearsarge was awarded two battle stars for service in the Korean War and five battle stars for service in the Viet Nam War. Overhauled in early 1965, the USS Kearsarge was finally decommissioned in 1970. After several years in the Reserve Fleet, she was sold for scrap.
Asbestos in the Construction of the USS Kearsarge
In the 1940s, the shipbuilding industry in the U.S. (and around the world) did not take necessary precautions to protect workers from the hazards of asbestos. The Kearsarge was no different; the methods used to construct her probably involved asbestos in applications such as welding and machining.
Inhaled Asbestos Fibers Are Toxic
Shipbuilders and other shipyard workers — even people who were simply present in shipyards on a regular basis, such as contractors — were at risk of inhaling the airborne fibers of asbestos that were common in these environments. Asbestos fibers lodge themselves inside the body and do not deteriorate. They can initiate a disease process that after a period of years or decades culminates in:
Lung cancer: small-cell or non-small-cell
Asbestosis: a severe respiratory disease in which lung tissue becomes scarred
Mesothelioma: a rare cancer of the tissue lining the chest cavity
The crew of the USS Kearsarge may also have been exposed to asbestos, especially during combat. When asbestos products are damaged or in poor condition, they are especially prone to giving off its tiny, nearly invisible fibers.
Learn More about Your Rights
If you built or served aboard the Kearsarge, maintained or repaired it, or participated in its disassembly and scrapping, you may have been exposed to disease-causing levels of asbestos. Contact us today to learn more about the risks of asbestos and the legal options available to you and your family.