The USS Mitchell (DE-43) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort laid down on February 12, 1943, and launched on August 1, the same year. It was commissioned on November 17, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. James Carpenter’s command with the hull number DE-43 and served in the U.S. Navy for two years until it was decommissioned on December 29, 1945. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 198 people on board and had its main missions in Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, San Diego, Okinawa, Kwajalein, Ulithi, Tokyo, and Balikpapan. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on December 19, 1945, and sold for scrapping the following year. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Mitchell received 9 battle stars.
Asbestos was used as an insulator on the service pipes running through the ships and many Navy veterans clearly recalled seeing pipes being lagged with asbestos, which would come in pre-cut sections before being cut and fitted onboard. Asbestos sheeting was also used to line sections of the cabins and the bulkheads below decks, an area where Navy personnel frequently worked.