Responsible with the task of carrying troops to and from combat areas, the USS Clinton was a Haskell-class attack transport ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. It was built by the California Shipbuilding Corporation under a Maritime Commission contract in 1944. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. L. N. Green and had Commander J. A. Ivaldi in command during the war. For the outstanding activities it performed throughout World War II, it earned one battle star. Because it was laid down when asbestos was a highly prevalent building material, the USS Clinton was laden with the carcinogenic mineral and thereby, exposure inevitably occurred in the people who served aboard it. The areas of the ship with the largest amounts of asbestos were the engine room, the pump room, the damage control room and the propulsion room. By inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers from the air, exposure occurs, which can lead to serious diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma within 20 to 50 years. In 1984, the USS Clinton was sunk as a target off the Virginia Capes.