The USS General George M. Randall (AP-115), a General John Pope class troop transport that served with the United States Navy in World War II and the postwar era, was launched at the Federal Shipbuilding & Drydock Company, in Kearny, New Jersey, as Maritime Commission hull 673 on 30 January 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract. It was acquired and simultaneously commissioned on 15 April 1944, with Captain Carl C. von Paulsen, USCG, in command. The ship left the yard on 25 April 1944, for shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay. The ship was decommissioned from the Naval Register on 1 September 1962, but was maintained as a mothballed asset for another 13 years. Between the 1930s and 1970s, the military used several thousand tons of asbestos in a variety of construction, maintenance, and repair applications. Among all branches of the service, Navy veterans had one of the highest rates of asbestos exposure. This elevated risk of exposure was especially significant for individuals who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or other military conflicts prior to the restriction of asbestos usage in the United States in the 1970s.