The USS Astoria (CL/CA-34) was a New Orleans-class cruiser laid down on September 1, 1930, and launched on December 16, 1933. It was commissioned on April 28, the following year under Capt. Edmund S. Root’s command as CA-34 and served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years until it sank during the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 899 people on board and had its main missions in San Pedro, West Indies, Pearl Harbor, Samoa, Fiji, Sydney, Midway, Yokohama, Guadalcanal, and the Solomons. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Astoria received 3 battle stars.
When the dangers of asbestos were still largely unknown to the public, the mineral was very popular for its "miracle-like" qualities: incombustibility, low thermal conductivity, tensile strength, high resistance to heat and chemical damage, and low cost, among others. Because of its unique physical and chemical properties, asbestos became even more of a necessity between World War II and the 1970s.