Nicknamed “The Mighty Moo”, the USS Cowpens was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in 1941 as an Independence-class light aircraft carrier. The ship served during World War II, an activity for which it earned 12 battle stars, in addition to the Navy Unit Commendation. Throughout the conflict, it had Captain R. P. McConnell in command and was sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Bradford Spruance, daughter of Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. The presence of asbestos, back then seen as perfectly normal, posed a great health danger to the military personnel serving on the USS Cowpens, since inhaling or ingesting it may lead, within 20 to 50 years, to the occurrence of awful diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. For this reason, if you were present on this ship during the last century, you should keep a close eye on your health and undergo periodical medical examinations. In 1960, the USS Cowpens was sold for scrap. Every year, the town of Cowpens, South Carolina, honors the veterans who served on the ship by holding a 4-day festival.