The USS Donnell (DE-56) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on November 27, 1942, and launched on March 13, 1943. It was commissioned on June 26, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. F. C. Billings’ command with the hull number DE-56 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on October 23, 1945. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Derry, Dunstaffnage Bay in Scotland, Lisahally in the Northern Ireland, Plymouth in England, Cherbourg in France and Philadelphia. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on November 16, 1945. Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous mineral that has been used on a large scale on Navy ships built from the 1930s to the 1970s. It was used in more than 300 asbestos-containing materials that were constantly being handled by Navy personnel of all ranks. Over time, these materials can degrade or be disturbed during repair or maintenance work, and the asbestos fibers are released into the air. When inhaled, asbestos causes dangerous illnesses, particularly lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, among other serious respiratory ailments.