The USS Prince William (CVE-19) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on May 18, 1942, and launched on August 23, the same year. It was commissioned on April 9, 1943, as USS Prince William with the hull number CVE-31 under Capt. Herbert E. Regan’s command and served in the US Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on August 29, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 890 men on board and had its main missions in New Caledonia, Canton Island, Samoa, Espiritu Santo, San Diego, Townsville, Norfolk, and Key West. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on March 1, 1959, and sold for scrapping in 1961 in Japan.
Boiler rooms, navigation rooms, engineering spaces, mess halls, sleeping areas, and other common areas aboard Navy vessels contained asbestos. Onboard these ships, being in close quarters with poor ventilation increased the risk of asbestos inhalation, nobody was safe from exposure. Like many other Navy ships, the USS Prince William (CVE-19) contained enormous amounts of asbestos insulation and fireproofing products.