The USS Brownson (DD-518) was a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down on February 15, 1942, and launched on September 24, the same year. It was commissioned on February 3, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. J. B. Maher’s command with the hull number DD-518 and served in the US Navy for 6 months before it was sunk by a Japanese aircraft on December 26, 1943. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 336 people on board and had its main missions in New York, Panama Canal, Alaska, Cape Gloucester, Pearl Harbor, and California. For the service brought to the country during World War II, the USS Brownson (DD-518) received 1 battle star.
Characteristics such as thermal stability, thermal and electrical resistance, water tightness, and nonflammability, made asbestos to be of special interest to the U.S. Navy. If left undisturbed in its compound, asbestos does not pose any threat to the health of those in its presence. However, it was an impossible scenario for asbestos to be in a perfect state while on a ship due to the continuous cycle of deterioration and maintenance that would occur.