The USS California (BB-44) was a Tennessee-class battleship laid down on October 10, 1916, and launched three years later on November 20, 1919, with the hull number BB-44. The ship received the name of California, the 31st state of America, it was commissioned on August 10, 1921, and carried a complement of 1,083 people on board. During World War II, it had the main missions in Pearl Harbor, San Pedro, the Marinas, Saipan, Guam, the Philippine Islands, and Okinawa. On February 14, 1947, the vessel was decommissioned after it served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years. For the services brought to the USA during World War II, the USS California (BB-44) received 10 battle stars and many awards. Asbestos was present on the ship putting personnel at an increased risk for health concerns. Inhaled asbestos fibers become trapped in the lung tissue causing irritation, inflammation, and genetic damage. Anyone who served onboard the USS California (BB-44) should seek medical advice as soon as possible if they experience symptoms like coughing, feeling short of breath, or chest pain.