Belonging to the attack transport class, the USS Highlands was a Victory ship built by the California Shipbuilding Company in 1944. It was sponsored by Mrs. G. W. D. Dashiell and was named after the Highlands County in Florida. The ship served during World War II in the U.S. Navy. It received two battle stars for the outstanding activity it performed during the war.
Asbestos was present on the USS Highlands in enormous amounts. Thereby, exposure was inevitable and plenty of veterans are now struggling with terrible diseases as a result, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. It is estimated that over 300 different asbestos products and materials would be aboard military ships before 1980. In 1956, the USS Highlands was withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet for a Repair Program and was eventually sold for scrap in 1973.