The USS Ala (YT-139), was a United States Navy yard tug laid down on 23 September 1939 at Bremerton, Washington, by the Puget Sound Navy Yard; launched on 6 November 1939; and completed on 11 March 1940. It was assigned to the 13th Naval District and worked out of Bremerton, providing local tug and tow duty. On occasion, however, circumstances called for selfless heroism onboard yard craft as well as fighting vessels in the course of such mundane but critically essential labor, without which a well-balanced fleet could not exist. The USS Ala (YT-139) was stricken from the Navy list on 20 May 1965. Asbestos was popular in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century and widely utilized in shipbuilding and several other manufacturing industries. Asbestos is composed of minute fibers that easily break and produce dust that floats through the air. If these fibers are inhaled or ingested, they have the ability to penetrate the lungs' lining and cause irreversible damage to the mesothelium. The alarming feature of asbestos exposure is that just a trace quantity of asbestos particles breathed or ingested is required to induce asbestos-related lung diseases.