The USS Balch (Destroyer No. 50/DD-50) was an Aylwin-class destroyer laid down on May 7, 1912, and launched on December 21, the same year. It was commissioned on March 26, 1914, with the hull number DD-50 and served in the US Navy for 8 years until it was decommissioned on June 20, 1922. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 101 people on board and had its main missions in Newport, Long Island, Queenstown, the West Indies, Norfolk, and the Azores. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on March 8, 1935 and sold for scrapping the same year. Asbestos was commonly used to cover electrical wirings on board as well as steam pipes, valves, pumps, engines, and boilers. Completely unaware of the hazards they were exposed to, and without any proper equipment to protect themselves from the toxic mineral, the Navy personnel faced significant asbestos exposure during their military service. Veterans diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease could be eligible for a variety of compensation from several entities, including the Veterans Affairs Administration, as well as companies that produced asbestos-containing products.