The USS Cinchona (AN-12/YN-7), an Aloe-class net laying ship that was assigned to serve the U.S. Navy during World War II, was launched 2 July 1941 by Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oregon; sponsored by Mrs. W. Casey; outfitted by Puget Sound Navy Yard; and placed in service 15 August 1941, with Lieutenant H. H. Breed, USNR, in charge. The ship was awarded two battle stars for service during World War II. The first was for its performance during the assault on Pearl Harbor by Japanese aircraft, and the second was for its hazardous operations in the Mariana Islands. A significant proportion of the roughly 25 million surviving veterans of the United States Armed Forces were regularly exposed to asbestos, and many of them served aboard U.S. Naval warships. Due to the fact that the majority of asbestos-containing materials on board are used as bulkhead/deck/pipe insulation, the most frequent locations for this material are the accommodation (or living area), boiler room, engine room, navigation room, and weapons and ammunition storage room. Consequently, everyone onboard was likely exposed to toxic asbestos fibers.