The USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier laid down on May 3, 1943, and launched on November 8, the same year. It was commissioned on December 15, 1943, with the hull number CVE-71 under Capt. J. P. Whitney’s command and served in the US Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on 19 April 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 860 men on board and had its main missions in Saipan, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Espiritu Santo, and the Marianas. After the decommissioning, the ship was sold for scrapping to Zidell Machinery & Supply in Portland on November 18, 1946. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Kitkun Bay received 6 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Asbestos was a heavily used component at the time, for insulating important parts of the ship due to its heat-resisting and fireproofing qualities. Military personnel who served on naval ships designed, built, or operated during World War II (1939–1945) have an increased chance of developing asbestos-related diseases, and depending on the circumstances they are rightful to file a claim for compensation.