Built during World War II by the California Shipbuilding Corporation, the USS Lanier was named after the Lanier County of Georgia. It was a Haskell-class attack transport ship which served in the Pacific Theatre during the war, as well as in the Battle of Okinawa. The ship was launched in August 1944 and was sponsored by Mrs. Earl English. For the outstanding accomplishments it earned during World War II, it received one battle star. Since asbestos was widely used during the last century in the military, particularly by the U.S. Navy, the toxic mineral was also present aboard the USS Lanier, which endangered the health of the people who were serving on the ship. Exposure to asbestos occurs when one inhales or ingests airborne asbestos fibers which, once inside the body, attach themselves to various organs, mostly the lungs, and subsequently cause gradual inflammation and tissue scarring. Over time, the inflammation and tissue scarring may give way to a serious disease such as lung cancer or mesothelioma. The USS Lanier was eventually withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet as part of a Repair Program in 1956 and in 1973, it was sold for scrap.