The USS J. Franklin Bell (APA-16) was a Harris-class attack transport laid down in 1918 and launched on May 15, 1920. It was commissioned on April 2, 1942, with the hull number APA-16 and it served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on March 20, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 683 people on board and had the main missions in California, San Francisco, San Diego, Alaska, Tarawa, and Saipan. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List and sold for scrapping in 1948 to Boston Metals in Baltimore. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS J. Franklin Bell received 6 battle stars. Asbestos is classified as a human carcinogen. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and therefore, easy to inhale. Once inhaled, the fibers cling to the respiratory system, including the lining of the lungs and inner cavity tissue and the body cannot expel them. Some symptoms of asbestos may not occur until several decades after the initial exposure to the fibers. Navy veterans who have been exposed to asbestos during their service are at the highest risk of lung damage. Navy jobs like boiler tenders, engine mechanics, shipfitters, pipefitters, steelworkers, and repairmen required close interaction with asbestos.