Nicknamed “Big John”, the ship was the only one of its class, a variant of the Kitty Hawk-class of aircraft carriers. It was laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding in 1964 and was sponsored by Caroline Kennedy. The maiden voyage of the USS John F. Kennedy took place in the Mediterranean with the purpose of helping with the deteriorating situation in the Middle East. With the motto “Date Nolite Rogare” (“Give, be unwilling to ask”), the ship won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet in 1974. However, because the use of asbestos in shipbuilding was still prevalent when the USS John F. Kennedy was laid down, there were numerous hazardous products aboard it, which endangered the health of the military personnel. By inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, one may later develop a serious, even life-threatening disease such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. For this reason, former members of the USS John F. Kennedy are advised to undergo regular medical examinations. The ship was eventually designated for dismantling.