The USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16) was a Charles F. Adams-class guided-missile destroyer laid down on December 27, 1960, and launched on December 9, the following year. It was commissioned on April 20, 1963, with the hull number DDG-16 and served in the US Navy for 27 years until it was decommissioned on February 1, 1990. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 354 people on board and had its main missions in Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka, the Tonkin Gulf, North Vietnam, the South China Sea, Subic Bay, Hawaii, and the Far East. Considerable amounts of asbestos were used in below-deck spaces, but asbestos-embedded materials also found their way into pipes, electrical wiring and even the sleeping quarters, meaning that regardless of their job being above or below deck, people that served in the Navy were at high risk of having been exposed to the toxic mineral. Identifying an asbestos-related disease on one's own is quite the impossible mission since such illnesses not only take decades to manifest, but the latency period can be as short as 10 years or as long as 50, and the symptoms are often misinterpreted leading to a diagnosis coming generally too late.