The HMAS Hobart (D-39) was a Perth-class guided-missile destroyer laid down on October 26, 1962, and launched on January 9, two years later. It was commissioned on December 18, 1965, with the hull number D-39 and served in the US Navy for 35 years until it was decommissioned on May 12, 2000. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 332 people on board and had its main missions in Vietnam, Subic Bay, New Zealand, and Australia. For the services brought to the country during the Vietnam War, the HMAS Hobart (D-39) received 1 battle honor and the Navy Unit Commendation plus eight inherited honors.
Before the dangerous health effects were widely known, hundreds of asbestos products were used on U.S. Navy ships. Asbestos brought a number of functional properties that no other material could match, such as affordability, tensile strength, heat resistance, and chemical damage resistance. All these contributed to its extensive use as an insulator, a fireproofing and a building material. Navy personnel deployed on these vessels are now at risk of developing asbestosis, mesothelioma or other serious asbestos-related conditions.