The USS Gentry (DE-349) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on December 13, 1943, and launched on February 15, the following year. It was commissioned on June 14, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. D. A. Smith’s command as DE-349 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on July 2, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Bermuda, New York, Marseilles, Oran, New London, Key West, Panama Canal, Manus, New Guinea, Manila, Leyte, Palaus, Okinawa, and Stockton. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on January 15, 1972, and sold for scrapping the following year. Asbestos has been used for many years because of its range of useful properties such as high tensile strength, heat resistance, incombustibility, and resistance to chemical attack, and incorporated into virtually every aspect of shipbuilding, operation, maintenance, and repair, from fireproofing of the hulls and munitions compartments to the insulation of boiler rooms. Even sleeping quarters and mess halls were also lined with asbestos, putting service members at risk of asbestos exposure.