The USS Massachusetts (BB-59) was a South Dakota-class battleship laid down on July 20, 1939, and launched on September 23, 1941. It was commissioned on May 12, 1942, under Capt. Francis E. M. Whiting’s command with the hull number BB-59 and served in the U.S. Navy for 5 years until it was decommissioned on March 27, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 1,793 men on board and had its main missions in North Africa, Nouméa, the Solomons, the Gilberts, Norfolk, Ponape Island, Leyte, and Manila. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on June 1, 1962, and used as a museum ship since 1965. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Massachusetts received 11 battle stars. Those who served in the U.S. Navy between 1940 and the 1980s are at the greatest risk of developing asbestos-related diseases due to a high rate of exposure. If you once served in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS Massachusetts (BB-59) and have received an asbestos cancer diagnosis, you may qualify for special financial benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including disability compensation, special monthly compensation, and service-connected death benefits for surviving family members.