The USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier laid down on July 10, 1943, and launched on November 22, the same year. It was commissioned on December 28, 1943, with the hull number CVE-73 under Capt. Hugh H. Goodwin’s command and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was sunk on 25 October 1944 in the battle off Samar. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 860 men on board and had its main missions in Manus, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and the Marianas. After the sinking, the ship was struck from the Navy List on November 27, 1944. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Gambier Bay received 4 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for the activity during the Battle off Samar.
Like most ships constructed in that period, the USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) contained asbestos, which was used as insulation on various components below the deck as well as above. While veterans in all branches of the military are at risk, Navy veterans top the list of asbestos exposure risks. Navy personnel working below deck with boilers, pipes, or electrical components may now be at risk of developing serious diseases, due to asbestos exposure.