The USS Bland, laid down in 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Corporation, was responsible for transporting troops to and from combat areas. It was a Haskell-class attack transport ship whose building was sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence A. Collins, wife of the editor and publisher of the Long Beach, California, Independent. The ship served during World War II under the command of Comrade Laurence E. Eastman.
However, the USS Bland was built with asbestos, a toxic mineral which can lead to awful diseases such as lung cancer following exposure to it. Over 300 different asbestos products were present aboard the ship, which inevitably resulted in heavy exposure. As a consequence, up to 30% of veterans struggle with terrible diseases today due to military asbestos exposure. The USS Bland was eventually sold for scrap in 1974 to the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Brownsville, Texas.