The USS Marathon was a Haskell-class attack transport laid down on July 4, 1944, and launched on October 7, the same year. It was commissioned on October 28, 1944, under Comdr. J. W. McElroy’s command, with the hull number APA-200 and it served in the US Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on May 8, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 536 people on board and had its main missions in California, Okinawa, San Francisco, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, Ulithi, Saipan, and Eniwetok. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List the same day and returned to its owners. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Marathon received 2 battle stars.
Asbestos-containing materials were used on Navy ships for their thermal and electrical resistance and non-inflammability. This is why crew members serving in the Navy have a high risk of exposure to this fibrous silicate mineral. Veterans afflicted by exposure to asbestos are eligible for compensation from one or more of the several trust funds created for this purpose and also through the Department of Veterans Affairs.