The USS Maurice J. Manuel (DE-351) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on December 22, 1943, and launched on February 19, the following year. It was commissioned on June 30, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. William M. Lowry’s command as DE-351 and served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years until it was decommissioned on October 30, 1957. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, New Guinea, Ulithi, Marseilles, Leyte, Okinawa, Manila, Panama Canal, Argentia, and San Diego. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on May 1, 1966, and used as a target ship during training exercises the same year. Asbestos was formerly regarded as safe, noting useful applications such as insulation around steam boilers and hot water piping, and fire-retardant for electrical fixtures, brake and clutch linings on a ship’s anchor windlass, and other materials. Unfortunately, asbestos has since been identified as an extremely toxic substance that may lead to debilitating illnesses, including cancer.