The USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier laid down on January 31, 1944, and launched on April 17, the same year. It was commissioned on May 20, 1944, with the hull number CVE-95 under Capt. J. L. Pratt’s command and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was sunk during the battle at Iwo Jima on February 21, 1945. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 923 men on board and had its main missions in Ulithi, the Marshalls, Iwo Jima, and San Diego. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Bismarck Sea received 3 battle stars.
Asbestos fibers are tiny and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Still, they can be breathed in or ingested, which can lead to a high risk of developing illness much later in life. Because of its incredible physical properties, asbestos was present in every corner of Navy ships built between World War II and the late-1970s, including storage rooms, mess halls, navigation rooms, and sleeping quarters. Deckhands, sailors, and other crew members were often exposed while performing routine maintenance tasks or while the ships were being repaired.