The USS Cassiopeia (Ak-75) was a cargo ship belonging to the Crater-class. The USS Cassiopeia was launched on 15 November 1942 by Permanente Metals Corporation and the ship spent its war months carrying cargo among the islands in the South Pacific. The Cassiopeia’s last trip was under the guidance of Commander Brooke of Atlanta, Georgia. On this trip, the “Cassie” sailed with a full new crew, many of them just out of boot school. The vessel eluded a hurricane off the coast of Central America, stopped for minor engine repairs in Colon, Panama, then made its way into the Caribbean and Atlantic as its first trip on the East Coast. The ship was decommissioned on 21 November 1945 and turned over to the War Shipping Administration.
Before the dangers of asbestos exposure became widely known, over 300 asbestos-containing materials were used on U.S Navy ships. This put veterans at high risk for later developing mesothelioma and other serious respiratory illnesses. Navy veterans who got sick due to their on-duty asbestos exposure are eligible for free health care, disability compensation and other VA benefits.