The USS Merrick (AKA-97/LKA-97) was an Andromeda-class attack cargo ship laid down on October 19, 1944, and launched on January 28, the next year with the hull number AKA-97. It was commissioned on March 31, 1945, under Comdr. Walter E. Reed’s command and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was decommissioned for the first time on June 26, 1946. The second time it was commissioned was on January 19, 1952, and served in the US Navy for another 17 years until September 17, 1969. The ship operated in Norfolk, Marshalls, New Hebrides, the Philippines, California, Yokosuka, Iwo Jima, and South Vietnam. During the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency realized the dangers of breathing in asbestos and warned the public of its status as a carcinogen. Scientists were already linking exposure to asbestos with possibly fatal health issues, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos while serving aboard the USS Merrick, contact your doctor and explain your symptoms. If you served in the U.S Navy and participated in duties such as the construction, overhaul, or repair of the ships, let your physician know so he/she can look for asbestos-related health problems.