USS Hornet (CV-8) Asbestos Exposure
Hull Number: CV-8
Type: Aircraft Carrier
Built: Newport News, VA
Commissioned in October 1941, the USS Hornet was a Yorktown-class Aircraft Carrier built by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, VA. It launched the first American attack against the Japanese home islands of World War II, known as the Doolittle Raid, and received a Presidential Unit Citation for its role in the Battle of Midway.
The ship carried a complement of 2,919 officers and enlisted aboard, and held 90 aircraft. On October 27, 1942, the Hornet became the last U.S. Navy carrier sunk during the war, at a loss of 140 of her crewmen. The vessel was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1943.
Sailors who served on the USS Hornet were very likely exposed to asbestos over the course of their regular duty. Ships built between the 1930′ and the 1970’s were often built using asbestos in much of the equipment on board, including pumps, valves, boilers, turbines, and electrical components.
Materials such as gaskets and packing were also made from asbestos. These items were especially common in the engine and boiler spaces, putting Boiler Tenders, Firemen, Machinist’s Mates, and others who worked in these areas at an elevated risk.
For the most part, the companies who manufactured these asbestos products were aware of their dangers, but did nothing to warn veterans. This led to many veterans developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused illnesses.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-caused illnesses have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can cover the often overwhelming costs of medical care, and provide additional sums for the suffering experienced by victims and their families. The law limits the time in which a lawsuit can be filed however, so victims should seek legal counsel soon after a diagnosis is made.