The USS Fleming (DE-271) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort originally laid down on April 7, 1943, and launched on May 19, the same year. It was transferred to the United Kingdom and served there for 2 years as HMS Garlies K475 until it was transferred back to the U.S. Navy on August 20, 1945. It served for a short time under Lt. B. H. Farwell’s command until it was decommissioned on October 10, 1945. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 156 people on board. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on November 1, 1945, and sold for scrapping to Thomas H. Barker in 1947. Between World War II and the late 1970s, the U.S. Navy covered their ships with asbestos-containing materials and products because of their fireproofing qualities. Unfortunately, everyone aboard these ships could have been exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos. Some of the most dangerous areas on Navy ships for asbestos exposure were boiler rooms, engine rooms, ammunition storage rooms, mess halls, and sleeping quarters.