Philadelphia, PA Explosion On U.S.S. CASSIN, Aug 1937

4 MEN KILLED, 10 BURNED ON U.S.S. CASSIN.

EXPLOSION IN FIREROOM ON BOARD THE DESTROYER CASSIN, AT PHILADELPHIA, GIVES HINT OF SABOTAGE -- STEAM LINE BURST, SCALDING THE VICTIMS, ABOARD NEW 1,500-TON WARSHIP -- NUMBER IN MARINE AND OTHER HOSPITALS.

Four civilian workmen were killed and 10 civilians and enlisted men, including an officer, were injured or scalded in an explosion aboard the new 1500-ton destroyer U.S.S. Cassin at the Philadelphia Naval Yard today.
The injured and scalded included Lieut. HENRY MARSHALL, engineer officer, six enlisted men and three civilian Navy Yard workers.
The list of dead, given out by Lieut. Commander William H. Behrens, first aide to Rear Admiral W. T. Claverius, the Yard's commandant, follows:
JOSEPH VASSILLUZZI.
MICHAEL SEAVO.
WILLIAM MEHL, all of Philadelphia.
GEORGE DRIESBACH, of Oaklyn, N. J.
Taken to nearby St. Agnes Hospital with first and second degree burns were JEROME SULLIVAN, LOUIS SHERBY and DANIEL M. VAUTIER, whose address was reported to be 509 Porter Street, Camden, N. J. SHERBY is a Philadelphian.
Hospital officials believed all would recover.
Other victims were taken to the Philadelphia Marine Hospital, near the Navy Yard.
Although the blast was heard throughout the spacious naval reservation and in communities on the opposite shore of the Delaware River, the Cassin showed no outward evidence of damage.
No one, except Navy Yard officers assigned to investigate the explosion, was permitted aboard the crippled craft.
Lieutenant Commander William W. Behrens, aide to the commandant, said:
"We do not know the extent of the injuries or the cause of the accident. A board of investigation has already been appointed."
The Cassin, one of the new type destroyers of 1,500 tons displacement, was being reconditioned in Drydock No. 2 by a crew of 125 civilian workers and sailors when the blast occurred while the steam pressure was being raised to test safety valves.
Coincidentally, the Navy Yard, where the explosion occurred, was the scene today of balloting by the Yard's 7,000 civilian employes on a collective bargaining agency.
A boycott of the election had been threatened by the Committee for Industrial Organization on grounds the former bargaining agency, the shop employes committees, had an unfair advantage.
The Cassin was to undergo final trials next month before joining the fleet.
An investigation to determine the cause of the explosion was launched immediately by the commandant's office. Pending its outcome, Lieutenant Commander William Behrens, aid to Commandant W. T. Cluverius, said no official statement would be issued.
No one, excepting Naval Officials were permitted to board the craft.
The Cassin was in Drydock No. 2 and was being put in shape for a trial trip in September. A large group was in the fire room testing various parts of the vessel's steam apparatus when the steamline burst.

Chester Times Pennsylvania 1937-08-18