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Asbestos Exposure on the USS Valcour

USS Valcour

USS Valcour (AVP-55) was a seaplane tender that served as a flagship for the Middle Eastern Force in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Veterans who served on USS Valcour may have been exposed to asbestos-containing materials while working in the engine room, boiler spaces, and other areas of the ship.

Veterans who worked to repair or upgrade the ship also faced exposure to asbestos, which is the only known cause of the debilitating cancer mesothelioma.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your right to compensation from the companies that sold dangerous asbestos products to the Navy.

At Belluck & Fox LLP, our nationally recognized mesothelioma lawyers have won more than $800 million in compensation for victims of asbestos and their family members. Schedule a free consultation now to discuss how we can help you.

History of USS Valcour

Construction began on USS Valcour in December 1942 at the Lake Washington Shipyard in Houghton, Wash. After much delay due to the prioritization of other ships’ war-related repairs, the Valcour was completed at Puget Sound Navy Yard and commissioned in July 1946.

At first, the ship served as a seaplane tender for the Atlantic Fleet. However, in August 1949, USS Valcour was designated a flagship for the Middle Eastern Force. For many years, Valcour served in a rotation of ships that conducted annual deployments as flagships for the Commander of the Middle Eastern Force (ComMidEastFor).

These ships served as command posts and living quarters for the commander and his officers.

Inferno at Sea

On May 14, 1951, tragedy struck as Valcour was leaving Norfolk, Va., on her way to exercises. The ship lost power and the ability to steer, sending her into the path of the collier SS Thomas Tracy. The resulting collision ruptured an aviation fuel tank on Valcour, leading to a raging fire on the ship in the waters of Hampton Roads.

As the vessel took on water and the flames grew, the captain ordered everyone to abandon ship.

Ultimately, the tragedy aboard Valcour left 11 dead, 16 injured, and 25 missing. After rescue workers got the fire under control, USS Valcour was towed back to Norfolk, where it underwent months of reconstruction and upgrades.

Return to the Seas

After repairs were finished in December 1951, USS Valcour returned to service and to the Middle East. Over the next decade, she became a shining example of service throughout the region, including helping a damaged cargo vessel caught in a typhoon in the Indian Ocean in 1953 and putting out a dangerous fire aboard an Italian tanker ship in the Persian Gulf in 1955.

Valcour earned two Navy E’s for her many accomplishments, as well as recognition from the Chief of Naval Operations and other awards.

Eventually, USS Valcour (reclassified as AGF-1) was selected as the permanent flagship for the Middle Eastern Force, conducting service operations and promoting goodwill efforts throughout the region.

When she wasn’t deployed to the Middle East, Valcour operated out of Little Creek, Va.; Guantanamo Bay; and Kingston, Jamaica. And when she was relieved of her duties as flagship for MidEastFor in 1972, Valcour returned to Norfolk. She was decommissioned in 1973.

After decommissioning, the ship was used for electromagnetic testing by the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (NOL) before being sold by the U.S. Navy in 1977.

Legal Help for USS Valcour Shipmates Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

If you or someone in your family served on USS Valcour and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need to understand your legal rights. The talented asbestos attorneys at Belluck & Fox have earned a national reputation for securing maximum compensation for those veterans and their families who have been harmed by asbestos exposure.

With more than 20 years of experience, our team has collected detailed records on U.S. Navy ships and the asbestos companies that sold dangerous products to the military, putting servicemembers’ lives at risk.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and let our respected asbestos attorneys help you pursue the compensation you deserve.


  • Naval History and Heritage Command: Valcour

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