The USS Breton (CVE-23) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on February 25, 1942, and launched on June 27, the same year. It was commissioned on April 12, 1943, under Capt. E. C. Ewen’s command with the hull number CVE-23 and served in the US Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on August 12, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 1,205 men on board and had its main missions in Saipan, the Philippine Sea, Okinawa, and Tacoma. After the decommissioning, the ship was placed again in service to serve as a utility carrier CVU-23 and as an aviation transport T-AKV-42.
Asbestos materials were used on the Navy ships in hundreds of applications, such as insulation, gaskets, filters, electrical wiring, steam traps, brake and clutch linings on a ship’s anchor windlass, aggregate mixtures, thermal materials, and valves, hydraulic assemblies. Service members and civilian naval yard workers may have been exposed to asbestos while building, repairing, or maintaining Navy ships.