The USS Kirkpatrick (DE-318) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort laid down on March 15, 1943, and launched on June 5, the same year. It was commissioned on October 23, 1943, under Lt. Cmdr. V. E. Bakanas’ command as DE-318 and served in the U.S. Navy for 17 years until it was decommissioned on June 24, 1960. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 209 people on board and had its main missions in Texas, Norfolk, New York, Guantanamo, Charleston, Sasebo, Newport, British Isles and Green Cove Springs. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on August 1, 1974, and sold for scrapping on March 12, 1975. The USS Kirkpatrick (DE-318) crewmembers were likely to breathe in large amounts of asbestos fibers when they were sleeping, eating, and serving their country in battle. Those building and repairing ships were also at serious risk for asbestos exposure, as they handled the materials that were built, repaired, or removed from naval vessels as part of their job. Unfortunately, it is now known that inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses that often do not appear until many years after the exposure.