The USS Ahrens (DE-575) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on November 5, 1943, and launched on December 21, the same year. It was commissioned on February 12, 1944, under Lt. Comdr. Morgan H. Hains’ command with the hull number DE-575 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on June 24, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Maine, Bermuda, Manus, Leyte, Manila, Hollandia, Palau Islands, and Okinawa. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on April 1, 1965. One year and a half later, on January 20, 1967, the ship was sold for scrapping. Between World War II and the late-1970s, all types of U.S. naval ships were outfitted with materials containing asbestos. As a result, thousands of veterans of the U.S. Navy who served on these ships were exposed to asbestos, placing them at risk of a number of serious and potentially deadly diseases.