Susan, my husband has cholangiocarcinoma . He nearly his entire 20-year career in the Navy on sea duty and all but one tour consisted of cruises to Southeast Asia, including during VietNam. Several of his early ships contained lots of asbestos, as you describe. In fact, I was just reviewing his military medical record and some pages have "ASBESTOS" stamped on them.
So far the Veterans Administration does not recognize cholangiocarcinoma as a presumed service-related disease. However, with the rise of occurrence of this disease, which includes an increasing number of veterans, the VA is getting a significant number of claims. After years of denying the claims, they are now starting to approve a number of appeals. I was reviewing the VA appeals and year before last they approved 3 and last year they approved 12. So I suspect that cholangiocarcinoma will soon make it to the presumed service-related list.
I've not seen one case, however, that the VA cites asbestos as the link. The known cause that they cite is a parasite called the liver fluke which servicemen and women may have ingested while in SE Asia, where the disease is predominant. But some studies, like the Bologna study you cited which suggests strong evidence for a link, do suspect asbestos as a cause. Here is another from the University of Washington in Seattle: http://www.cells4research.com/files/Pat … cinoma.pdf
I'm doing all of this research so that I can file a claim with the VA on behalf of my husband but, honestly, it is the last thing I want to be doing when his time is so short. It's very sad we have to go this. If your mother is still alive, she should file a claim because there is a special indemnification allowance paid to widows on a monthly basis. I believe it is around $1,100/month. Hope this information is helpful. And I am very sorry to hear about your father. God rest his soul.