The USS Navajo (ATF-64) was a Navajo-class tugboat laid down on December 12, 1938, and launched on August 17, the following year. It was commissioned on January 26, 1940, under Comdr. M. E. Thomas’ command with the hull number AT-64 and served in the US Navy for 3 years before it was sunk by torpedoes on September 12, 1943. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 80 people on board and had its main missions in San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Johnston Island, Oahu, Canton Island, New Hebrides, Espiritu Santo, Noumea, Tongatapu, and Sydney.
Because of its affordability, tensile strength, and resistance to heat and chemical damage, asbestos-containing materials were extensively used in every United States Navy ship built from the 1930s to the 1970s. While they are alive, veterans diagnosed with a disease associated with inhalation of asbestos fibers during active military service, typically receive monetary compensation through one or more of the established asbestos trust funds as well as VA claims.