The USS Dickens (APA-161) was a Haskell-class attack transport launched on September 8, 1944. It was commissioned on October 18, the same year under Capt. R. M. Ingram’s command, with the hull number APA-161 and it served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on May 21, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 536 people on board and had its main missions in Seattle, Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Saipan, Okinawa, and Ulithi. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List and sold for scrap to Luria Brothers & Co. in 1974. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Dickens received 2 battle stars.
Because of its remarkable strength, its fire-resistant abilities, and its capacity to withstand massive amounts of heat, asbestos was widely used for insulation purposes on a number of Navy ships including aircraft carriers, destroyers, and transport vessels. The hazardous mineral was mainly used in the boiler and engine rooms. However, it was also used to insulate piping systems that were spread throughout the entire ship including the galley and the sleeping quarters.