The USS Cates (DE-763) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort laid down on March 1, 1943, and launched on October 19, the same year. It was commissioned on December 15, 1943, under Lt. G. A. Prouse’s command with the hull number DE-763 and served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on March 28, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 216 men on board and had its main missions in Ireland, Wales, New London, New York, Boston, Earle, Liverpool, Eniwetok and Okinawa. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred to France where it was renamed Soudanais (F722). The most common way that asbestos fibers enter the air is by disturbing or hitting the insulation making it break the insulation apart. Stretching from World War II until the late 1970s, members of the U.S.Navy were among those most affected by asbestos exposure. This means that those who were on those ships during that time are at risk for developing life-threatening conditions, even decades later.