The USS Mindanao (ARG-3) was an internal combustion engine repair ship belonging to the Luzon-class that was in the service of the US Navy during World War II. The ship was laid down as the Liberty Ship SS Elbert Hubbard by the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, and launched in May 1943. Once it was acquired by the Navy, the USS Mindanao joined Task Group 29.7 in December 1943 and sailed for the Panama Canal, Cuba, and New Caledonia where it began its combustion engine repair ship duties. In November 1944, the ship was anchored in Seeadler Harbor when the ammunition ship Mount Hood exploded and inflicted heavy damage into the USS Mindanao which was 350 yards away. Asbestos is comprised of microscopic fibers that can readily become airborne and breathed in. Due to their shape, asbestos particles have a tendency to stick to tissues in the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. Over time, the fibers cause inflammation and scarring that can ultimately lead to cancer. Often an individual harmed by asbestos exposure has a poor prognosis because it can take up to 40 years from the point of asbestos exposure for symptoms to develop and early stages of asbestos-related diseases are generally difficult to diagnose.