The USS Leopold (DE-319) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort laid down on March 24, 1943, and launched on June 12, the same year. It was commissioned on October 18, 1943, under Lt. Cmdr. Kenneth C. Phillips’ command as DE-319 and served in the U.S. Navy for a few months until it was sunk on March 10, 1944. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 209 people on board and had its main missions in Texas, Bermuda, Casablanca, New York, Galveston, Charleston, Gibraltar, Casco Bay, Oran, British Isles and Iceland. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral of strong, flexible fibers. Its strength and resilience have made it an ideal material for almost all types of insulation. When products containing asbestos are disturbed during maintenance or repair work, they may release microscopic fragments of the mineral into the air endangering the health of service members and seafarers onboard marine ships built in the mid-20th century.