The USS Hooper (DE-1026) was a Dealey-class destroyer escort laid down on January 4, 1956, and launched on August 1, 1957. It was commissioned on March 18, 1958, under Lt. Comdr. J. K. Leslie’s command with the hull number DE-1026 and served in the US Navy for 15 years until it was decommissioned on June 6, 1973. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 170 people on board and had its main missions in the Far East, Hawaii, San Diego, Taiwan, Formosa Strait, and Yokosuka. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on the same day, and, later, it was sold for scrapping.
The shipbuilding industry was one of the largest consumers of asbestos and asbestos products. These days, Americans are generally well-aware of the dangers of asbestos, but sailors working on their ships, in shipyards between the 1930s and 1970s, had no idea they were being exposed to a carcinogenic mineral every day.