The USS Bennett (DD-473), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was launched on 16 April 1942 at the Boston Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. Floyd Bennett; and commissioned on 9 February 1943 with Commander Edmund B. Taylor in command. The USS Bennett (DD-473) received nine battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for its service in World War II. The ship arrived in Pearl Harbor on 31 May and subsequently patrolled the Hawaiian Islands for the following two months. After escorting a convoy to Efate in the New Hebrides, it took up the role of an aircraft guard and patrolled the area around Efate (27 August through 28 October). Asbestos, which is made up of six distinct naturally occurring minerals, was widely used in a variety of industries, including shipbuilding. During World War II, asbestos rapidly became regarded as a miracle mineral because of its low cost, high tensile strength, and resilience to heat and chemical damage. While veterans from all branches of the military were at danger, Navy veterans were the most likely to be exposed to asbestos. Asbestos was extensively utilized as a major component in over 300 distinct materials in naval ships and shipyards.