The USS Cottle (APA-147) was a Haskell-class combat transport built by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company of Vancouver and commissioned by the Navy on the 14th December 1944. Her first mission involved carrying members of the marine construction battalions, the famous Sea Bees, to Samar in the Philippine Islands. Returning via Ulithi and Guam with a shipment of Japanese POWs, the ship took over three underwater demolition teams at Pearl Harbor and arrived in San Francisco on the 3rd of June 1945. After another couple of voyages carrying occupation troops for Manila and Japan, she finally sailed for Norfolk, Virginia to be laid up.
The early 1970s were a very active period of modernization for the US Navy, and many older ships were either retrofitted or scrapped. This included the USS Cottle (APA-147), who was sold for scrap in 1973, no longer qualifying to the Navy standards in certain respects including the use of asbestos as an insulation material. This toxic mineral was found throughout the ship, and many of her crew would have been negatively affected by the inhalation of its dust.