“In May, 1956, I went to boot camp in Maryland, and shortly afterward, boarded the aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid. I was immediately sent down to the boiler room as a fireman apprentice. Every day I worked with asbestos. Little did I know that one day, just by doing my duty, I would come down with this dreadful disease.”
— Navy Fireman, mesothelioma.
“I remember we would make our own “lagging” by dumping loose asbestos in a bucket and pouring water into it. We’d mix it up with our bare hands — no gloves or anything — till it made kind of a mud, then we’d slap it on the joints. During all this, the air would be full of dust… the asbestos was just like flour.”
— Navy Boilerman, mesothelioma.
“(He ) served in the Seabees and he always loved it; it was a part of the Navy he always looked up to. After the Navy (he) worked for the post office for thirty-three years. We were just about to retire and have some fun when the doctors found out (he) had mesothelioma. We had so much planned. (He) had always wanted to take me out west.”
— Wife of Navy Seabee, mesothelioma.
“I was born in 1937. My father was a plasterer and painter. During slow periods in the painting business, he would work as a longshoreman in the shipyards where asbestos was used. Back then, no one knew about the dangers of asbestos. Every day he would come home from work with asbestos dust on his overalls and I would give him a big hug.”
— Daughter secondarily exposed through her father’s work in the shipyards, mesothelioma.
“At dry dock, they’d gut all the asbestos insulation in the fire room, then throw it into the bilges at the bottom of the ship. My job was to crawl on my belly in the ship’s forward fire room bilges and sweep up the asbestos dust and debris. It was hot and poorly ventilated, so breathing the asbestos dust was just part of the job.”
— Navy Boiler Tender, mesothelioma.
“During wartime, I manned a 14-inch gun and worked in the powder room. I remember my sleeping quarters ran directly under some insulated piping. Every night before I crawled into my bunk, I had to wipe the asbestos dust from my bunk that had vibrated off the insulated piping when the ship’s guns were fired.”
—Navy Gunner, mesothelioma.
“I was a welder and pipe fitter in the Navy, working around asbestos pipe lagging. We would make asbestos mud from loose asbestos that went around the pipes, then we would wrap the pipes with asbestos cloth. When we were welding, we would also put asbestos blankets around ourselves to protect against the heat and sparks. Sometimes we would cool down the pipes by putting them into barrels full of asbestos.”
— Navy Shipfitter, lung cancer.
“I was an aircraft mechanic while serving my country at Travis Air Force Base in California during the fifties where I put asbestos gaskets into aircraft engines. Later, as a civilian, I continued as an aerospace mechanic at Edwards Air Force Base testing rocket engines. Because of the heat generated by the engines, we would protect the engine and the test stand with asbestos blankets.”
— Air Force Engine Mechanic, asbestosis.