The USS Laffey (DD-459) was a Benson-class destroyer laid down on January 13, 1941, and launched on October 30, the same year. It was commissioned on March 31, 1942, under Lt. Comdr. William E. Hank’s command with the hull number DD-459 and served in the US Navy for 6 months until it was lost in action on November 13, 1942. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 208 people on board and had its main missions in Pearl Harbor, Efate, Noumea, Guadalcanal, and Lunga Point. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Laffey received 3 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Service members at risk for asbestos exposure include Navy veterans who worked in shipyards from the 1930s through the 1990s, as asbestos widely used in shipbuilding and construction materials during that time frame and Navy personnel who worked below deck as asbestos was often used below deck where poor ventilation heightened the risk for harmful exposure.