The USS Chatham (CVE-32) was a Bogue-class escort aircraft carrier laid down on May 25, 1942, and launched on September 19, the same year. It was commissioned on August 11, 1943, as HMS Slinger with the hull number D-26 under the United Kingdom’s flag and served in the Royal Navy for 3 years until it was returned to the US Navy on February 27, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 646 men on board. After the decommissioning, the ship was sold for scrapping in Kaohsiung Taiwan in 1969.
The USS Chatham (CVE-32), like many other military ships, was constructed with numerous products containing asbestos. The fire-resistant mineral was used to insulate almost every part of every ship built from World War II to the Vietnam War. Asbestos coated many items on escort carriers, including boilers, engines, and pipes to protect them and keep the steam system running at peak efficiency. This exposed nearly everyone on these ships to dangerous levels of asbestos and increased their risk of developing an asbestos-related disease, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, later in life.