The USS Ascella (AK-137) was a cargo ship in service of the US Navy during World War II. It was constructed as the Liberty Ship SS George C. Yount by California Shipbuilding Corporation in January 1943. It was acquired by the Navy in November and underwent its conversion for naval use at the Matson Navigation Company’s shipyards in San Francisco. The vessel’s first mission was delivering load stores, provisions, and ammunition from Oakland, California to Pearl Harbor. It was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor in August 1946 and placed in the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay until 1964, when it was sold for scrapping to National Metal & Steel Corporation. Thousands of unsuspecting veterans were exposed daily to asbestos as they worked on Navy ships built during or after World War II. Asbestos exposure is strongly associated with several potentially fatal illnesses, the most serious of which are lung cancer, mesothelioma, throat cancer, colorectal cancer, bronchial cancer, esophageal cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer. Companies that manufactured asbestos products have been aware of the health hazards but avoided alerting the public for decades. As a result, individuals who develop asbestos-related diseases have legal rights to compensation from the companies who disregarded their safety.