The USS Key (DE-348) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on December 14, 1943, and launched on February 12, the following year. It was commissioned on June 5, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. F. D. Buckley’s command as DE-348 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on July 9, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, Bermuda, New York, Naples, Hollandia, Piso Point, Polloc, New Guinea, Manila, Leyte, Guiuan, Okinawa and Ulithi. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on March 1, 1972, and sold for scrapping the same year. As the production and installation of asbestos products declined after the mid-1970s, the very high exposure levels previously encountered have largely ceased. However, vast amounts of asbestos products that have been used and installed in the past still remain in-situ in all Navy ships built during World War II. Asbestos fibers can cause a wide variety of health effects, particularly centering on fibrosis and cancers of the lung and pleura.