The USS Conyngham (DDG-17) was a Charles F. Adams-class guided-missile destroyer laid down on May 1, 1961, and launched on May 18, the following year. It was commissioned on July 13, 1963, under Comdr. Edwin P. Smith’s command with the hull number DDG-17 and served in the US Navy for 27 years until it was decommissioned on October 30, 1990. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 354 people on board and had its main missions in the Persian Gulf, Northern Europe, and the Caribbean. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on May 31, 1991, and sold for scrapping in 1994.
Asbestos exposure in the US Navy was possible through several ways: during the shipbuilding process within shipyards, during repairs and consolidation work or during the dismantling of old ships for salvage or scrap. Due to its confirmed toxicity, asbestos was banned in the United States from most industries, but this does not change the fact that there are entire generations of veterans that have done their service in toxic mediums breathing in asbestos disturbed because of maintenance and repair jobs that were inevitable for the good functioning of the vessel.