Did U.S. Navy Escort Carriers Use Asbestos?
Yes, Navy escort carriers were built with asbestos-based products for decades on end. In fact, government mandates required all U.S. Navy ships to be built with asbestos before the risks were fully known.
Key Facts About Asbestos on Escort Carriers
- Purpose: Asbestos was a cost-effective way to fireproof, insulate, and soundproof Navy ships.
- Products: Boilers, pumps, valves, walls, pipes, electrical wiring, and many more products were used aboard escort carriers.
- Time span: Every carrier was built with asbestos between the 1930s and early 1980s.
Exposure to asbestos on escort carriers put U.S. veterans at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis later in life.
Thousands of Navy veterans suffer from mesothelioma today after being exposed to asbestos on military ships 10-50 years ago.
If you or a loved one has mesothelioma after serving on escort carriers or other ships, Mesothelioma Hope can help you get military benefits, top treatments, and legal compensation. Start the process now by downloading our Free Veterans Compensation Guide.
List of Navy Escort Carriers That Used Asbestos
Over 100 Navy escort carriers were built with products that contained asbestos.
Some of these escort carriers include:
- USS Altamaha (CVE-18)
- USS Barnes (CVE-20)
- USS Carnegie (CVE-38)
- USS Coral Sea (CVE-57)
- USS Edisto (CVE-41)
- USS Hoggatt Bay (CVE-73)
- USS Midway (CVE-63)
- USS Nehenta Bay (CVE-74)
- USS Petrof Bay (CVE-80)
- USS Salerno Bay (CVE-110)
- USS Takanis Bay (CVE-89)
- USS Tulagi (CVE-72)
- USS Willapa (CVE-53)
Don’t see your ship listed above? There are many more vessels built with asbestos that aren’t listed here. Use our search tool below to find more.
- Type of Ship:
- Asbestos Used: Yes
Learn more about asbestos on Navy ships in our Free Veterans Guide.Get Your Free Guide
Why Did the U.S. Navy Use Asbestos on Escort Carriers?
The U.S. Navy used asbestos on escort carriers and other vessels to keep them more durable.
Asbestos was fireproof, soundproof, lightweight, and a good insulator. It was also cheap to purchase, which was very helpful during World War II when the Navy was trying to build as many ships as possible.
Finally, the U.S. military and general public thought asbestos wasn’t harmful. Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products knew it could cause deadly illnesses but concealed the facts to keep making money.
Who Was Exposed to Asbestos on Escort Carriers?
Any U.S. Navy veteran who served on escort carriers prior to the 1980s may have been exposed to asbestos.
This is because as asbestos products were installed, repaired, or replaced, tiny fibers could be released into the air. If asbestos fibers were breathed in or swallowed, they could get stuck in the body and eventually cause mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
Navy service members at the highest risk of asbestos exposure worked with or around asbestos-containing products on a daily basis as part of their jobs.
These jobs may have exposed veterans to asbestos on escort carriers:
- Aircraft mechanics
- Boiler room workers (boilermakers)
- Engine room workers
- Hull maintenance workers
- Shipbuilding/shipyard workers
Did you serve aboard an escort carrier and now have mesothelioma? We may be able to help you get benefits and compensation. Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to learn more.
How Was Asbestos Used on Escort Carriers?
Asbestos-containing products were used throughout escort carriers and other Navy ships. Learn about the different products and where they were used below.
- Boilers: Asbestos was used to insulate and protect sailors from high levels of heat in boiler rooms. Boilermakers also used heat-resistant gloves that were laced with asbestos.
- Electrical wiring: Wires were often coated with asbestos to keep them fireproof.
- Gaskets: Gaskets were used within boilers and other parts of the ship and were constructed with asbestos to keep them sturdy.
- Insulation: Asbestos insulation was used in the plumbing, walls, and even the paint on escort carriers and other Naval ships. This insulation protected escort carriers from heat, fire, water damage, and corrosion.
- Piping: Pipes needed to be well-insulated and so many of them were coated with asbestos insulation.
- Pumps and valves: By coating pumps and valves with asbestos, they could be protected from corrosion and heat damage.
Compensation for Exposure to Asbestos on Escort Carriers
You may be able to pursue compensation if you or a veteran you love has mesothelioma after serving on an escort carrier. This financial aid could pay for medical bills, basic living expenses, and other costs.
Learn more about your mesothelioma compensation options below.
Veterans who developed mesothelioma that stems from their military service can file for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Top mesothelioma VA benefits include:
- Disability payouts often worth nearly $4,000 a month in 2024
- Free or low-cost health care from top mesothelioma doctors
- Funeral and burial reimbursement
- Survivors pensions and other benefits
Veterans with mesothelioma are almost always granted a 100% disability rating by the VA, meaning they get the highest financial benefits possible.
Mesothelioma Hope has VA-accredited agents on staff who can help you file a VA claim or increase your existing benefits. Download our Free Veterans Compensation Guide to get started.
Mesothelioma lawsuits allow veterans and civilians to get financial compensation. These lawsuits typically award $1 million or more, a significant payout to you and your family.
Mesothelioma claims are filed against the makers of asbestos products (the military and government are never sued). Our partner mesothelioma law firm can handle all of the legal work and file a lawsuit for you, so you can get compensation with less stress.
Further, you can still get VA benefits if you file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Mesothelioma patients also can seek compensation from asbestos trust funds. Bankrupt asbestos companies were forced to set up these funds so victims could still get compensated (as bankrupt companies can’t be sued).
Trusts contain over $30 billion as of 2024. Our mesothelioma lawyers can file claims on your behalf with any trusts you qualify for. Get help filing asbestos trust fund claims now.
How We Help Veterans Harmed By Asbestos on Escort Carriers
Brave U.S. Navy veterans don’t deserve to suffer from asbestos-related illnesses. But, the awful truth is that thousands of veterans now have mesothelioma from being exposed to asbestos on escort carriers and other vessels.
Mesothelioma Hope is committed to helping veterans and civilians with mesothelioma get the resources they need to fight this cancer.
Our team can help you:
- File for or increase your mesothelioma VA benefits
- Get medical care from top doctors and hospitals
- Pursue legal payouts typically worth $1 million or more
- Find justice and peace of mind after a diagnosis
FAQs About Asbestos on Escort Carriers
Do aircraft carriers have asbestos?
Yes, all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers had asbestos products prior to the 1980s. This included escort carriers, which were smaller and scaled-back versions of aircraft carriers.
Asbestos was used to heatproof, soundproof, and fireproof various parts of the ships, putting anyone aboard at risk of exposure and mesothelioma.
When did the Navy stop using asbestos on ships?
The U.S. Navy stopped using asbestos on escort carriers and other ships in the 1980s after it was revealed that exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma and other diseases.
Major renovation projects were undertaken to remove as many asbestos-containing products from active ships as possible.
Is asbestos still used in ships?
There are no escort carriers that currently use asbestos, but a handful of older U.S. Navy vessels still have some asbestos-based products aboard.
In those cases, the products are well-secured and don’t pose a risk to human health.
What U.S. Navy ships had asbestos?
Virtually every U.S. Navy ship built between the 1930s and early 1980s had asbestos. This included more than 100 escort carriers.
The USS Carnegie, USS Midway, and USS Tulagi are just a few of the escort carriers that were built with asbestos.