The USS Dempsey (DE-26) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort laid down on October 1, 1942, and launched on February 19, the following year. It was commissioned on July 24, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. H. A. Barnard’s command with the hull number DE-26 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on November 22, 1945. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 198 people on board and had its main missions in Leyte, San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Espiritu Santo, Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, the Gilberts, Majuro, Kwajalein, Noumea, Manus, Peleliu, and the Solomons. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on November 28, 1945, and sold for scrapping in 1947.
During repair and overhaul activities, shipyard workers were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos, increasing their risk for lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, or other asbestos-related diseases. Although the use of asbestos has decreased significantly since the 1980s, large numbers of Navy ships still contain asbestos to insulate boilers and pipes.