The USS Fort Mandan (LSD-21), a Casa Grande-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy, was launched on 2 June 1945 by Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, sponsored by Mrs. Powell M. Rhea; and commissioned on 31 October 1945, with Lieutenant Commander W. A. Caughy, USNR, in command. Following its shakedown training in the Chesapeake Bay, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet but was subsequently transferred to the Service Force, 2nd Fleet. It was decommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia, and transferred to Greece under the Security Assistance Program. The ship was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register and sold to Greece on 8 February 1980. Navy and Coast Guard personnel were exposed to the highest levels of asbestos. Asbestos was utilized in the insulation and paint used on ships. It wasn't until the 1980s that asbestos-related malignancies, such as mesothelioma, were widely recognized. Veterans are now entitled to compensation if they are diagnosed with certain cancers. Because asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma may take 30 to 40 years or more to manifest symptoms, many Navy veterans are just now having their cancers diagnosed.