Asbestos Exposure on the USS Langley (CVL-27)
Hull Number: CVL-27
Type: Light Aircraft Carrier
Built: Camden, NJ
The USS Langley was an Independence-class light Aircraft Carrier built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, NJ. It was commissioned in August of 1943 and was so named to carry on the tradition of the USS Langley (CV-1), the U.S. Navy’s original Aircraft Carrier, which had recently been sunk.
The vessel mainly conducted operations in the Pacific Theater of World War II, attacking strategic Japanese targets including areas in the Philippines and the South China Sea. The Langley was decommissioned in February 1947, and was then transferred to France where it spent the next decade as the La Fayette.
For those who served aboard the USS Langley, asbestos exposure was a very real threat. Navy ships built between the 1930’s and 1970’s often used asbestos in much of the onboard equipment, including boilers, turbines, valves, pumps, and electrical components.
Additionally, several different kinds of materials were made from asbestos, such as gaskets and packing. These asbestos products were found in a high concentration in the engine and boiler spaces, putting Machinist’s Mates, Boiler Tenders, Firemen, and others who worked in the area at an elevated risk.
The companies who provided the Navy with asbestos were often aware of the how hazardous the material was, but did nothing to warn those serving aboard the USS Langley and other ships. This negligent attitude led to many veterans developing mesothelioma later in life.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have a right to pursue compensation. Settlements can help cover the high costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. Legal counsel should be sought soon after a diagnosis is made however, as the law limits the time in which a lawsuit can be filed.