The Department of Veterans Affairs has expanded its list of Navy ships whose crews may be eligible for disability compensation as a result of exposure to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
VA announced Monday it has added ships to the "Brown Water" inventory, meaning the vessels were found to have operated on inland waterways and all personnel who served aboard them are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange.
The new additions include the Navy survey ships Sheldrake and Towhee, attack transport ship Okanoagan, submarine rescue ship Chanticleer, destroyers Frank Knox and James E. Kyes, and transport ship General W. A. Mann.
VA also expanded the dates of eligibility for sailors who served on the destroyer Fetchteler Fechteler and said veterans also may be eligible for presumptive status if they went ashore from the guided missile cruiser Dewey or attack transport ships Pickaway or Paul Revere during certain periods during the war.
VA pays disability compensation to veterans or survivors for 14 medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange.
The VA ship list is not static; officials said vessels will be added based on documentation such as deck logs, ship histories and cruise books often provided by veterans as well as records kept in the National Archives.
For a full catalog of vessels, check out the VA's website.