USS Ponchatoula Shipmates Association

AOG 38   AO 148   TAO 148



Painting by Huntzinger, 2003, copyrighted.

Commissioned by the USS Ponchatoula Shipmates Association and presented to the City of Ponchatoula, LA.


USS Ponchatoula and Toxic Exposures:
Agent Orange, Ionizing Radiation and Asbestos

USS Ponchatoula's crewmembers may have potentially been exposed to toxic substances during their time aboard.  The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes certain medical conditions to have been caused or aggravated by exposure to certain toxic substances.  Presumptive Exposure status to toxic substances means that exposure to the toxic substances should be Presumed by the DVA for purposes of providing medical treatment and processing disability claims for those Ponchatoula sailors who served aboard on specific exposure dates recognized by the DVA to Ionizing Radiation (1962) and Agent Orange (1969 and 1971).

Because USS Ponchatoula was a steam powered ship.  Asbestos was used throughout the ship for insulation around the many steam pipes.  Exposure to asbestos can be a serious health risk if asbestos-containing material is disturbed in such a way that the particles and fibers become airborne.

Our Shipmates' Advocate Peter Ablanczy has assembled information about documented or otherwise recognized events that may have exposed crewmembers to potential health hazards during their time aboard the USS Ponchatoula.  Please see the information on the following pages about these potentially hazardous exposures.  For questions, Shipmates may contact Peter directly at