The USS Helios (ARB-12) was an Aristaeus-class battle damage repair ship laid down on November 23, 1944, and launched on February 14, the following year. It was commissioned on February 26, 1945, under Lt. Adam W. Melohusky’s command with the hull number ARB-12 and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was decommissioned on December 3, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 260 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Pearl Harbor, Charleston, and Florida. After the decommissioning, the ship was transferred to Brazil where it was renamed Belmonte (G24).
Due to lack of ventilation in confined spaces below deck and failure to provide workers with personal respiratory protection, exposure levels compounded onboard Navy vessels. As a result, Navy veterans are the largest group who suffer from asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.