The USS Mink (IX-123) was an Armadillo-class tanker designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, and the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the mink, a mammal found in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The Armadillo-class of tankers was a class of type Z-ET1-S-C3 Liberty ship tankers that served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War. The USS Mink (IX-123) keel was laid down as Judah Touro on 20 October 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract by Delta S.B. Shipbuilder Company, New Orleans, Louisiana, and launched on 4 December 1943. During World War II, the USS Mink (IX-123) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in Leyte operation considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II, and Luzon operation. The USS Mink (IX-123) earned two battle stars for World War II service. Any service member on this or any similar Navy vessel commissioned before 1970 was likely exposed to asbestos. The deadly substance could be found in virtually all areas of the ship, including plumbing, turbines, engine rooms, boilers, fire doors, floor and ceiling tiles, and wall insulation.