The USS Aylwin (Destroyer No. 47/DD-47) was an Aylwin-class destroyer laid down on March 7, 1912, and launched on November 23, the same year. It was commissioned on January 17, 1914, with the hull number DD-47 and served in the US Navy for 6 years until it was decommissioned on February 23, 1921. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 101 people on board and had its main missions in Newport, Queenstown, Plymouth, Norfolk, and Boston. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on March 8, 1935 and sold for scrapping the same year.
Because of its unique high-temperature resiliency and nearly indestructible qualities, asbestos was used as the insulation material of choice for a variety of equipment prior to the 1970s. Asbestos covered pipes and ducts, insulated boilers, it was used as packing in pumps and valves, and could be found in gasket material maintained by machinist mates. Navy personnel who worked on and around pipes, valves, and gaskets were often exposed to tremendous amounts of asbestos-containing airborne dust.