The USS Bennington (CV/CVA/CVS-20) was an Essex-class aircraft carrier constructed with the purpose of serving within the American forces. The ship was laid down on 15 December 1942 by the New York Naval Shipyard and launched on 26 February 1944, sponsored by the wife of Congressman Melvin Maas of Minnesota. She was commissioned on 6 August 1944, Captain James B. Sykes in command. The ship was recommissioned as an attack carrier when World War II ended. It attacked several Japanese targets during WWII before being decommissioned in 1970. The ship is also known for the recovery mission of NASA’s Apollo 4. Asbestos is a natural mineral that can cause serious health problems especially when is disturbed in such a way that the particles and fibers become airborne. Symptoms of asbestos-related diseases such as shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain, often do not appear until 20 to 40 years after the exposure. Navy veterans who served in any of the following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos: boiler tenders, engine mechanics, shipfitters, pipefitters, steelworkers, and repairmen.