The USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) was a Gearing-class destroyer laid down on October 3, 1944, and launched on March 14, the following year. It was commissioned on June 23, 1945, with the hull number DD-864 and it served in the US Navy for 38 years before it was decommissioned on October 1, 1983. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 367 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, New York and the Tonkin Gulf. The USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) was struck from the Navy List on October 1, 1983, transferred to Pakistan and renamed PNS Shah Jahan.
Because of its affordability, tensile strength, and due to the property of being thermally inert, asbestos was included in hundreds of products used in U.S. Navy ships. "In my job I used to be covered in asbestos dust. I was breathing air in fire rooms and engine rooms on ships for 30 years" said a Navy veteran exposed to asbestos on the USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864). Veterans afflicted with asbestos-related diseases are eligible for compensation from one or more of the several trust funds created for victims of asbestos exposure, and also through the VA.