The USS Chester (CL/CA-27) was a Northampton-class cruiser laid down on March 6, 1928, and launched on July 3, the following year. It was commissioned on June 24, 1930, under Capt. Arthur Fairfield’s command as CA-27 and served in the U.S. Navy for 16 years until it was decommissioned on June 10, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 700 people on board and had its main missions in San Francisco, Alaska, Hawaii, Guadalcanal, Sydney, Tulagi, Pearl Harbor, and Ulithi. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on March 1, 1959, and sold for scrapping the same year. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Chester received 11 battle stars. Asbestos is a flame-retardant material that was used in the manufacture of many different products such as millboard, cardboard, and gaskets that were used in particular for heat insulation and as fire protection in electrical appliances on Navy ships. During World War II, these ships were the homes of thousands of Navy personnel. Asbestos was supplied by companies that knew the dangers of exposure since the early 1900s, and that, eventually, thousands of servicemen would contract terrible diseases from exposure to this mineral.