The USS Altamaha (AVG-18/ACV-18/CVE-18) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on December 19, 1941, and launched on May 25, the following year. It was commissioned on September 15, 1942, under Capt. J. R. Tate’s command with the hull number CVE-18 and served in the US Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on September 27, 1946. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy Register on March 1, 1959, and sold for scrapping on April 25, 1961, to Eisenberg & Co in New York City.
Asbestos was widely used throughout the Armed Forces, particularly in shipbuilding, due to its heat resistant properties and non-flammable nature. Shipyard trades associated with asbestos exposure include machinists, electricians, pipefitters, shipfitters, welders, boilermakers, heavy equipment mechanics, pipe coverers/insulators, carpenters, plumbers, and laborers. Even workers who did not directly handle asbestos materials were exposed to dust when asbestos work was performed in their vicinity.