Built by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in 1944, the USS Latimer was a Haskell-class attack transport ship of the U.S. Navy. It was sponsored by Mrs. Melvin H. McCoy and had Captain John P. Dix in command during World War II. The ship was launched during the same year it was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract and also participated in the Korean War. The USS Latimer was built with asbestos, which posed a great health threat to everyone who served aboard the ship, as exposure was inevitable. Asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases within 20 to 50 years, including lung cancer, and it occurs when a person breathes in or swallows asbestos fibers from the air, which can easily be released by human activity such as disturbing products which contain the toxic mineral. Today, approximately 30% of veterans struggle with a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure. The USS Latimer was eventually scrapped.