As part of the attack transport class, the USS Hendry was a Victory ship laid down by the California Shipbuilding Company in 1944. It was named after Hendry County of Florida. The ship was launched under Maritime Commission contract 24 June 1944 by California Shipbuilding Company, Wilmington, California. It was sponsored by Mrs. James K. Herbert, acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 29 September 1944 with Captain R. C. Welles in command. By virtue of the extraordinary operations it conducted during World War II, the ship earned two battle stars. The USS Hendry was sold for scrap in 1973.
Because asbestos was present in tremendous amounts on the ship, the military personnel serving on it were inevitably exposed to the toxic mineral, a fact that places them at high risk of developing serious respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis or mesothelioma. Unfortunately, although the Navy issued a policy against using asbestos in ships in 1975, many veterans had already been exposed to the cancer-causing material by that point. Navy veterans who got sick because asbestos exposure during their service are eligible for free health care, disability compensation and other VA benefits.