The USS Francis M. Robinson (DE-220) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on February 22, 1943, and launched on May 29, the same year. It was commissioned on January 15, 1944, under Lt. J. E. Johansen’s command with the hull number DE-220 and served in the U.S. Navy for 16 years until it was decommissioned on June 20, 1960. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Cape Verde Islands, New York, Gibraltar, Miami, the Caribbean, and New London. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on July 1, 1972. Because of the need to keep the engines and boilers of Navy ships cool during exercises and tours of duty – not to mention the risk of taking on enemy fire – the U.S. Navy relied heavily on asbestos-based materials. As a result, U.S. Navy veterans have one of the highest rates of asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.