Laid down by the California Shipbuilding Corporation in 1944, the USS Kittson was a ship which served during World War II as a Haskell-class attack transport of the U.S. Navy. It was named after the Kittson County of Minnesota and had Captain G. B. Helmick in command during the operations it conducted. Because it was built before 1980, when proper asbestos regulations came into effect, the USS Kittson was laden with the hazardous mineral, mostly in the form of insulation. Therefore, the people who served aboard it were unavoidably exposed to asbestos to a great extent, which now places them at high risk for developing a related disease, such as lung cancer or asbestosis. It is worthy of note that diseases which occur as a consequence of asbestos exposure develop within 20 to 50 years, so it was only recently that veterans began receiving terrible diagnoses. In 1973, the ship was sold for scrap to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corporation.