The USS Beale (DD-471) was a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down on December 19, 1941, and launched on August 24, the following year. It was commissioned on December 23, 1942, under Comdr. Joe B. Cochran’s command with the hull number DD-471 and it served in the US Navy for 26 years before it was decommissioned on September 30, 1968. It was struck from the Navy List on October 1, 1968, and it was used as a target during training exercises the following year. For the services brought to the country, the USS Beale (DD-471) received 6 battle stars for the World War II service and another 1 for the Vietnam activity. Since asbestos was heavily employed by U.S. shipyards during the middle of the last century, it was also lurking on the USS Beale (DD-471) in tremendous amounts and in numerous places, such as boiler rooms, engine rooms, navigation rooms, weapons and ammunition storage rooms, and even mess halls and sleeping quarters. Navy veterans who served full-time and were not dishonorably discharged can seek compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are also eligible for compensation from one or more of the several trust funds established for asbestos victims and their families.