The USS Gendreau (DE-639) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on August 1, 1943, and launched on December 12, the same year. It was commissioned on March 17, 1944, under Lt. Comdr. A. D. Kilmartin’s command with the hull number DE-639 and served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on March 13, 1948. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Hawaii, the Marshalls, Eniwetok, Oahu, Emirau, Manus, Solomon Islands, Okinawa, Tokyo Bay, and Tulagi. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on December 1, 1972. One year later, in 1973 the ship was sold for scrapping. Asbestos was found on nearly every naval ship prior to the 1980s. Fires were a potentially devastating threat to Navy assets and personnel, making the extensive use of asbestos insulation an important aspect of ship construction. Given its affordability and ability to contain heat and prevent fibers, asbestos was a top-choice building material.