The USS Maryland (BB-46) was a Colorado-class battleship laid down on April 24, 1917, and launched on March 20, 1920. It was commissioned on July 21, 1921, under Capt. C. F. Preston’s command with the hull number BB-46 and served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years until it was decommissioned on April 3, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 1,080 men on board and had its main missions in Annapolis, New Zealand, the Solomons, the Gilberts, Tarawa Atoll, Saipan, Leyte, and Okinawa. The ship was repaired in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard after the Japanese attack. After the decommissioning, the ship was sold for scrapping on July 8, 1959, to Learner Company in Oakland. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Maryland received 7 battle stars.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that conducts heat and electricity and is fire and chemical resistant. Many former members of the U.S. Navy were exposed to high levels of asbestos during their service. The toxic mineral was frequently used throughout ships and in shipyards, where service members worked in tight quarters and breathed in tiny asbestos fibers without knowing the danger they were in.