The USS Chara (AKA-58) was an Andromeda-class attack cargo ship launched on March 15, 1944, with the hull number AKA-58. It was commissioned on June 14, 1944, under Comdr. C. B. Hamblett’s command and served in the US Navy for 15 years until it was decommissioned for the first time on April 21, 1959. It carried a complement of 380 men on board. The ship operated in San Antonio, Okinawa, Pearl Harbor, Hungnam, Wonsan, Koje-do and Ulsan, Oregon, and Puget Sound. It was struck from the Naval Register on March 10, 1972. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Chara received 4 battle stars and 7 battle stars for the actions during the Korean War. Asbestos exposure has a strong association with several potentially fatal illnesses, the most serious of which is malignant mesothelioma - an aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, and other organs. Further, as with all asbestos-related diseases, it often doesn’t manifest for years or even decades after the initial exposure.