The USS Hart (DD-594), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was launched on 25 September 1944 by Puget Sound Navy Yard; and commissioned 4 November 1944, with Commander W. D. Coleman in command. The ship joined the assembled task forces for the Okinawa operation. For one month, the ship was assigned as part of the screen for escort carriers furnishing close air support for the landings and preinvasion neutralization of neighboring Japanese airstrips. It was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register 15 April 1973, was sold on 3 December 1973, and broken up for scrap. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the United States Navy had an insatiable need for asbestos and its fire-retardant qualities. Unfortunately, asbestos turned out to be carcinogenic, and the short-term advantages it offered were offset by severe long-term problems. Many naval servicemen slept on bunks underneath asbestos-covered pipes on warships, and many veterans remember shaking off the fibers dust when they awakened. Navy personnel, as well as shipbuilders and dockyard employees, were exposed to asbestos dust during the building, maintenance, restoration, or destruction of ships.