The USS John Penn (APA-23) was an attack transport laid down on October 25, 1930, launched on May 28, 1931, and commissioned on April 6, 1942, under Capt. Harry W. Need’s command with the hull number APA-23. It served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was sunk by the enemy on August 13, 1943. During its activity, the ship had its main missions in Casablanca, Norfolk, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS John Penn received 1 battle star. Back in the 1940s and 1970s, Navy personnel did not realize that the asbestos surrounding them aboard ships could lead to the development of severe illnesses decades later. Because of its affordability, tensile strength, and the property of being thermally inert, asbestos was heavily used for the plumbing of the ship. Also, asbestos was a good choice for sealing and insulating high-pressure valves, which were required to put up with a lot of physical stress.