U.S.S. Abbot (DD-629)
Abbot was a Fletcher-class destroyer named for Commodore Joel Abbot. She served in the Pacific during WWII and transferred to the Atlantic fleet for postwar duty.
Abbot was laid at Bath Iron Works in Maine on September 21, 1942. She was commissioned on April 23, 1943 in the Boston Navy Yard.
The destroyer departed for the Pacific on September 10, arriving at Pearl Harbor in October. On the 18th, she collided with the carrier Cowpens, forcing her to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. She finally reached the combat zone on Christmas Day 1943.
Abbot participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands in January 1944. In company with several cruisers, she bombarded islands that were not invaded by allied troops, keeping their garrisons from moving to reinforce their neighbors. She finished that duty in February, and for the remainder of 1944 served as a convoy escort and as a screen for escort carriers. In this capacity, she took part in the Marianas and Philippines campaigns.
1945 began in the same fashion for Abbot, as she screened escort carriers in support of U.S. ground forces in the Philippines. Her task force came under increasingly heavy kamikaze attacks and on January 4, the escort carrier Ommaney Bay was overcome. After her crew abandoned her, Abbot’s sister, Burns, scuttled her.Abbot was detached from carrier duty in February and transferred to the Seventh fleet, where her new missions included escorting landing craft and shore bombardment.
She was transferred to the Third fleet on June 12, 1945 and became a carrier screen once again, this time for the fleet carriers of Task Force 38. She sustained serious damage to her propellers on August 8 while steaming near her maximum speed. Despite, the damage, Abbot was still able to make 23 knots and she kept her station. She rendered assistance to the destroyer Borie when that ship was hit by a kamikaze on August 9. Abbot shepherded Borie back to Saipan for repairs, and the ships arrived two days after the Japanese surrender. Abbot returned to the West Coast for repairs and was decommissioned shortly thereafter.
With the start of the Korean War, Abbot was recommissioned and began overhaul to bring her up to the standards of the day. Upon the completion of that work in June, she was transferred to the Atlantic fleet, where she remained for the rest of her career. She embarked on a circumnavigation of the globe in June of 1954 and assisted in the recovery of the Freedom 7 space capsule in 1961.
Abbot was decommissioned in 1965 and struck from the Navy register in 1974. The next year, she was sold for scrap.
Risk of Asbestos Exposure
Being a WWII era ship, asbestos was certainly present aboard Abbot. Asbestos was used on U.S. Naval vessels from the 1930s through the 1970s as an insulator for boilers, steam lines, and any machinery or plumbing that might be vulnerable to heat or fire. Damage to the insulation on these surfaces could cause asbestos fibers to break free and enter the air.
Asbestos is a proven cause of mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the lungs. There is no cure, but treatments such as chemotherapy can be used to fight the disease. If you or someone you know served on Abbot or worked on her in a shipyard and has contracted this disease, you may be able to receive compensation. Please fill out the form at the bottom of this page to receive a free information packet regarding your legal options.