Written By: Camryn Keeble

Asbestos on Navy Battleships

The U.S. Navy had an intimidating fleet of battleships, and most contained asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. The Navy often used asbestos to construct many of its ships, especially battleships. The presence of asbestos on Navy battleships has led to asbestos exposure for countless veterans, which can result in serious health problems, such as cancer or other long-term illnesses.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Health Risks Associated with Asbestos on Navy Battleships

The United States Navy has a long history of utilizing battleships to project military power across the globe. From the Spanish-American War to Vietnam, battleships played a critical role in the United States’ military strategy. However, many Navy battleships are known to contain asbestos in various capacities. The use of asbestos on various Navy ships has led to serious health issues and asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma, for Navy veterans. 

Navy battleships are known to contain asbestos due to its heat-resistant and durable properties. Asbestos was used throughout the construction of Navy battleships and can be found in  bulkheads, decks, lining the engine rooms and boilers, pipe insulation, condensers, main engines, ductwork, gaskets and other key components. Because of the widespread use of asbestos in the Navy and other military branches, military asbestos exposure was common. 

If you are a Navy veteran, you may have been exposed to asbestos on your battleship. Contact our VA-Accredited Claims Agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett, to find out more information or for assistance filing your VA claim.

History of Asbestos on Navy Battleships

During World War II, battleships were instrumental in the United States’ victory in the Pacific Theater. The battleships provided naval artillery support for amphibious assaults, engaged enemy ships in decisive naval battles, and played a critical role in the destruction of Japanese naval power.

During the Korean War, the United States Navy deployed several battleships to provide fire support for ground troops and to blockade North Korean ports. The battleships used in the Korean War included the USS Missouri, USS New Jersey, USS Wisconsin, and USS Iowa.

In the Vietnam War, battleships were also used for fire support, particularly in the early stages of the conflict. The USS New Jersey was deployed to Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 to provide fire support to ground troops and conduct naval gunfire missions along the coast.

Today, the United States Navy no longer operates any battleships, as they have been replaced by more modern and versatile warships. However, the legacy of battleships continues to influence naval warfare, as their impact during wartime and peacetime demonstrated the importance of naval power projection and diplomacy.

Sources & Author

  1. Missouri post refit. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=300726. Accessed: 09/05/2023.
Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates informative content to educate mesothelioma patients and their loved ones on news, treatments and more. She also works diligently to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and the effects of mesothelioma.