U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651) | Shrader & Associates L.L.P.
Get in Touch Today

U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)

Over A Billion Recovered Nationwide

U.S.S. Cogswell DD-651 (Destroyer, Fletcher-Class)

The History of the U.S.S. Cogswell. Nickname, “Broadside”

The Cogswell was actually named after two people: a rear Admiral (James Kelsey) and a courageous WWI Captain (Francis). Admiral Cogswell was born in 1847, and for his “conspicuous bravery” in the Spanish-American war won promotion to Commodore. Admiral Cogswell’s son, Francis Cogswell was to win the Navy Cross, with pioneering leadership on two separate US destroyers. The U.S.S. Cogswell and her crew served as heroically as did her familial namesakes, in very similar ways, repeatedly acting to screen dozens of sister ships. Eventually, the Cogswell and crew earned an impressive nine battle stars.

Owing to the durability of the Fletcher-class to which U.S.S. Cogswell belonged and with extensive repairs (with asbestos in widespread use), the U.S.S. Cogswell, in the 1950s, became an important part of the American response to Chinese aggression in Korea and then again (very briefly) in Vietnam.


The Bath Iron Works laid the Cogswell’s keel in the summer of 1943, as the great Pacific battles were shortly to come. The Admirals’ daughter and the Captain’s widow both christened the U.S.S. Cogswell when she launched in June 1943. The Cogswell followed the specs of Fletcher-class destroyers made at the Bath Iron Works. As was common at the time, these destroyers commonly used great amounts of asbestos in heat-sensitive areas.

Decades later, the risks of asbestos became more obvious, both in the construction and operation of vessels such as the U.S.S. Cogswell. Experts noted Bath Iron Works work and purchase records might prove work conditions at similar shipyards were often hazardous, in part because of asbestos. In rushing to meet the Japanese threat, crew and yard workers were too often unwarned and unprotected from asbestos.

Repairs and Upgrades

Early post-war duties were far from safe, and emergencies often led to temporary repairs using exposed asbestos. Unexploded mines, for example, were a plague to Allied vessels operating around Japan, and explosions were all too common. While the Cogswell worked with others to clear mines, several of the Cogswell’s sister ships suffered explosions. Owing to the prevalence of asbestos in so many US Naval shipyards and vessels, emergency repairs often placed repair crews at risk. First, by making repairs when large amounts of asbestos were exposed. Second, repairs at sea to damaged ship structure and machinery also often meant dealing with asbestos. This was one reason Naval machinists mates were, over the years, disproportionately sickened by wartime asbestos exposure on vessels.

As the many investigations regarding asbestos use proved, safety systems to protect against fire meant asbestos was possibly inhaled, in almost all areas of naval vessels such as the Cogswell.

Though the frantic pace of WWII shipbuilding such as at Bath Iron Works slowed down, the fiscal pressures after WWII made surviving vessels such as the Fletcher-class Cogswell even more valuable. This is why the Cogswell was recommissioned in 1951. But renovations, including miles of new cables coated in asbestos, may have added to asbestos risks. In fact, asbestos use on US Navy ships actually increased after WWII. Only in the 1970s did concerns about asbestos lead to comprehensive, mandatory improvements for crews and yard workers who dealt with asbestos.

Asbestos Risks On the U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)

Special concerns about fire meant asbestos was heavily used throughout vulnerable areas of the Cogswell. Some crew members on similar destroyers later testified about sleeping “inches away” from asbestos. By the time changes in asbestos policy were fully implemented, the Cogswell had fallen victim to 1960s massive changes in US Naval policy. In October 1969, she was fully decommissioned.

The fate of the U.S.S. Cogswell, though not unusual, also tells a somewhat sad story for many of America’s historic Fletcher-class vessels. The Cogswell was finally decommissioned in 1969, in order to be sent to the Turkish government. The vessel was cannibalized for parts and equipment, and then fully broken into pieces for scrap by the Turkish government in 1980.

We Take Our Clients’ Cases Personal

Helping Victims of Mesothelioma Is Why We Do What We Do

Your firm has made this stressful process easy and comfortable for me.

“In this difficult time for me, everyone in your office has been helpful and supportive in ensuring that not only are our objectives with my case met but also that my personal needs are accommodated.”
- Stephen

I couldn’t have done it without you.

“My case was complex, but you untangled the details of my asbestos exposure so that they were clear in court.”
- Sam

The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family.

“I hesitated to file suit because I thought going to trial would be a hassle. The professionals at Shrader & Associates did the work, hassle-free, and ensured I was able to leave a legacy for my family ...”
- Raymond

Your team stood by me throughout the entire process.

“The future looks a bit brighter for my family now.”
- Frank

Thanks to you, the grief of my loss would have been almost unbearable otherwise.

“The wonderful things you have done for us, the things you have made possible for my family, the doors you have opened – I will always be grateful.”
- Brian

Experience You Can Count On

Our Awards & Accolades

U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)
U.S.S. Cogswell (DD-651)

The Right Team Makes a Difference

Mesothelioma cases require technical knowledge and an understanding of complex laws. An attorney with experience trying these claims and substantial resources to leverage on your behalf is your best bet to having a strong case. We are nationally recognized for providing quality representation to mesothelioma patients and their families.

Meet Our Attorney

Choosing the Right Law Firm is an Important & Personal Decision

Why Shrader & Associates?


Our skilled approach to the practice of law has resulted in top ratings & awards from renowned legal organizations.


Our attorneys have been invited into some of the most prestigious and recognized professional associations in the U.S.


We’ve been featured on local and national news programs for our legal knowledge and winning results.


To date, we’ve secured countless million-dollar results for clients located throughout the country.