The USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) was an Appalachian-class amphibious force flagship in the United States Navy, named for the southeasternmost ridge of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. The ship was built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Kearny, New Jersey, under a Maritime Commission contract; launched on 7 March 1943 under the sponsorship of Mrs. David Arnott; transferred to the Navy on 15 March 1943; and commissioned on 27 September 1943, with Commander Lewis R. McDowell, USN, in command. The Bethlehem Steel Company of Brooklyn, New York, outfitted the USS Blue Ridge (AGC-2) as an amphibious force flagship. The ship was sold for scrapping on 26 August 1960 to Zidell Exploration Incorporated, Portland, Oregon. Because of its affordability, tensile strength, and resistance to heat and chemical damage, asbestos was widely used throughout the Navy ships, from bow to stern. Navy veterans of nearly every American conflict in the last century, including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, may have been exposed to cancer-causing particles like asbestos. Lung cancer, in particular, is a leading health concern among veterans due to the inhalation and ingestion of asbestos fibers.