During a refit of a twenty-year-old Naval destroyer, two cracks were found on the inside of the killed carbon-manganese steel hull plate at the forward end of the boiler room. The cracks coincided with the location of the top and bottom plates of the bilge keel. Metallurgical examination of sections cut from the cracked area identified lamellar tearing as the principle cause of the cracking. This was surprising in 6 mm thick hull plates. Corrosion fatigue and general corrosion also contributed to hull plate perforation. Although it is probable that more lamellar tears exist near the bilge keel in other ships and may be a nuisance in the future, the hull integrity of the ships is not threatened and major repairs are not needed.