The USS Conner (DD-72) was a Caldwell-class destroyer launched on August 21, 1917. It was commissioned on January 12, the following year under Comdr. A. G. Howe’s command with the hull number DD-72 and served in the US Navy for 22 years until it was decommissioned on October 23, 1940. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 100 people on board and had its main missions in New York, Azores, Brest, Plymouth, Bermuda and Norfolk. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred to the UK where it was renamed HMS Leeds.
Naval vessels had to be especially resistant to fire and temperature transfer because of their combat military purpose. Insulation, thermal materials, cables, gaskets, grinders, packing, paneling, piping, pumps, valves, adhesives, contained the dangerous mineral and anyone serving onboard the ship or involved in the ship’s construction, repair, overhaul or decommissioning was directly exposed to asbestos.