Asbestos Exposure on the USS Buck (DD-761)
Hull Number: DD-761
Class: Allen M. Sumner
Built: San Francisco, CA
The USS Buck was an Allen M. Sumner-class Destroyer built by the Bethlehem Steel Company at their San Francisco, CA shipyard toward the end of World War II. Measuring at a length of just over 376 feet, the Buck carried a complement of 336 officers and enlisted men.
It was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in June of 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, and generally patrolled of the west coast in the Pacific for its first years of service. After the outbreak of the Korean War, the ship shifted focus to operations in this venue, and went on to earn six battle stars over the course of the conflict. It was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in July of 1973.
Navy veterans who were assigned to the USS Buck were likely exposed to asbestos during their regular course of duty. Asbestos was found on most Navy ships built prior mid-1970s, used in equipment including boilers, valves, pumps, turbines, and electrical components.
Materials such as gaskets and packing were also often made from asbestos. The engine and boiler spaces held an especially high concentration of these asbestos products, putting Boiler Tenders, Machinist’s Mates, and others who worked in these areas in nearly constant contact with asbestos.
While the companies who made these asbestos products generally did nothing to warn sailors aboard the USS Buck and other Navy ships of the time, it was discovered in later years that they often were aware that asbestos led to mesothelioma and other cancers.
Victims of asbestos who spent time on the USS Buck or its contemporaries have a right to seek compensation. Settlements can help cover the costs of medical care, and may provide additional sums for pain and suffering. Statutes of limitation have been placed on the time in which a lawsuit may be filed however, so it is important to seek legal counsel soon after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.