The USS Brooklyn (CL-40) was a Brooklyn-class light cruiser laid down on March 12, 1935, and launched on November 30, the following year. It was commissioned on September 30, 1937, under Capt. W. D. Brereton’s command with the hull number CL-40 and served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years until it was decommissioned on January 3, 1947. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 868 people on board and had its main missions in Guantanamo, Philadelphia, Bermuda, Norfolk, Fedhala and Casablanca. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on January 22, 1951, and sold to Chile in 1951 where it was renamed, O’Higgins. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Brooklyn received 4 battle stars. Asbestos is non-flammable even at very high temperatures and is an extremely tough mineral fiber that doesn’t easily break down under heat or chemicals. The U.S. shipbuilding industry successfully produced ships in diverse designs and purposes, with many asbestos-containing components between World War I and the late 1970s, which is why so many Navy and Merchant Marine personnel developed asbestos-related diseases later in life.