The USS Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on May 1, 1944, and launched on August 8, the same year. It was commissioned on August 7, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. Merrill M. Sanford’s command as DE-366 and served in the U.S. Navy for 16 years until it was decommissioned on September 20, 1968. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on September 23, 1968, and sunk as a target during training exercises the following year.
Because of its fibrous nature, asbestos can produce dust containing microscopic fibers when disturbed. When inhaled, these fibers become deposited in the lungs -- causing or contributing to the development of serious, life-threatening illnesses including asbestosis - fibrous scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma. These illnesses generally require repeated and long-term exposure so one-time exposure is seldom a concern. Navy veterans were repeatedly exposed to high levels of the toxic mineral, putting them at risk for future asbestos-related illnesses.