The USS Mintaka (AK-94) was a Crater-class cargo ship in the service of the US Navy during World War II. Operated by the US Coast Guard, the ship delivered troops and various types of cargo in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. Originally laid down in February 1943 as Liberty Ship SS Ansel Briggs by California Shipbuilding Corporation at Terminal Island, Los Angeles, the ship carried out several missions in New Zealand and Alaska before it was converted to a cargo ship at Portland, Oregon in December 1943. After its conversion, the ship transported cargo and troops in the staging areas in New Caledonia, New Zealand, New Hebrides, and several bases in the Admiralties, Fijis, and the Solomons. In March 1968, the ship was sold for scrapping to Union Minerals and Alloys Co. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral; it is distinguished from other minerals by the fact that its crystals long, thin, and durable fibers. In the United States, asbestos use began around the end of the 19th century, and its consumption increased substantially during World War II due to its use in shipbuilding and repair. Asbestos exposure remains a significant risk for Navy veterans and will pose an even greater risk for decades to come.