The USS Benham (DD-796) was a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down on April 23, 1943, and launched on August 30, the same year. It was commissioned on December 20, 1943, under Comdr. Erle V. Dennet’s command with the hull number DD-796 and it served in the US Navy for 12 years before it was decommissioned on June 30, 1960. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 329 people on board and had its main missions in New York, Panama Canal, Sasebo, Ceylon, Aden, Naples and Newport. It was loaned to Peru where it was renamed Villar and scrapped in 1980. For the services brought to the country, the USS Benham (DD-796) received 8 battle stars.
Asbestos was extensively used on ships of all kinds, especially on combatant ships, for insulation, piping, sheet covering for engines and boiler rooms and fireproofing. The veterans who worked on these ships were exposed to high amounts of asbestos and therefore account for nearly 30% of mesothelioma diagnoses currently. The victims who have developed an asbestos-related illness can claim their rightful compensation along with the VA benefits.