Asbestos Exposure on Bogue-Class Escort Carriers
Bogue-class escort carriers played a crucial WWII role in both the American and British navies. These ships escorted aircraft and destroyers ships into battle and retrieved aircraft that had landed at sea. The United States lent many Bogue-Class carriers to the British Royal Navy, making them a symbol of the strength of the two nations’ alliance.
History of Bogue-Class Escort Carriers
Bogue-Class ships were a class of American escort carrier in service during WWII. Escort carriers were unsung naval heroes: their unglamorous but vital job was to perform patrol work and escort convoys. Most Bogue-Class carriers were built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, though some hailed from San Francisco and Mississippi.
Originally built to serve the US Navy, many Bogue-Class carriers served the British Royal Navy under a lend-lease program. Through this program, the United States either donated or lent materials to other Allied nations during the war.
The Royal Navy modified and renamed many Bogue-Class escort carriers to suit its own standards—in fact, today they are commonly referred to as being part of either the Attacker class or the Ruler class, their British classifications. Loaned ships that survived the war were subsequently returned to the US, where many were then converted into merchant ships.
Bogue-Class escort carriers escorted convoys, provided fighter and close-air support, and retrieved and carried seaplanes. Their greatest triumphs were therefore in support roles. They would carry aircraft into strategic positions either for air-to-air battle or to launch depth charges.
By escorting destroyer ships and Wildcat or Avenger aircraft, they helped the Allied forces target German U-boats and Japanese submarines. The vessels that remained officially part of the U.S. Navy were most active in the Pacific theater, and they performed admirably. Only 1 of 18 American Bogue-Class escort carriers, the USS Block Island, was sunk over the course of the war.
Bogue-Class escort carriers were larger than previous escort carrier vessels. American versions were notable for the following specs:
- Length: 496 feet
- Displacement: 16,890 tons
- Complement: ~ 900 men
- Armament: two 5″ DP guns (2×1); ten 20 mm AA (10×1); 24 aircraft (often fighters, Wildcats, and torpedo bombers)
- Maximum speed: 18 knots
- Power: 1800 HP
- Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, 2 boilers, and 1 shaft producing 8,500 shaft horsepower.
Asbestos Exposure from Bogue-Class Escort Carriers
Bogue-Class carriers were built at a time when asbestos was heavily utilized by the Navy for shipbuilding. Asbestos had hundreds of uses aboard Navy ships. It was used in flange gaskets, pump packing, boiler and turbine insulation, deck winch brakes, galley equipment, electrical components, and many other types of equipment and materials.
As a group, Navy veterans have one of the highest rates of mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. Navy jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure include boiler tenders, shipfitters, pipefitters, and electricians.
Belluck & Fox, LLP has represented veterans who developed mesothelioma from their service aboard Bogue-Class escort carriers and other naval vessels. We obtain blueprints that show where asbestos was used on specific ships and records that indicate which companies supplied the Navy with the asbestos.
Our lawyers have obtained substantial compensation for Navy veterans and their families. Learn how we can help you and your family by scheduling a free case review.
- U.S. Navy: A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers: The Escort Carriers
- Project Gutenburg: Bogue-Class Escort Carrier
- World Public Library: HMS Smiter (D55)
- UBoat.net: USS Bogue
- UBoat.net: Escort Carriers: Bogue-Class