The USS New Hanover (AKA-73) was a Tolland-class attack cargo ship laid down on August 31, 1944, and launched on October 31, the same year. It was commissioned on December 22, 1944, under Lt. Comdr. J. R. Haines’ command and served in the US Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on July 30, 1946. It carried a complement of 365 men on board. During World War II, the ship operated in Norfolk, Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Tinian. After decommissioning, the USS Hanover was struck from the Naval Register on August 15, 1946, and returned to Maritime Commission. On June 31, 1947, the ship was sold to Waterman Steamship Corporation where it was renamed SS Alawai. Members of all branches of the military, especially the Navy, have been exposed to asbestos before it became more restricted in the 1970s. The U.S. Navy used asbestos products in many areas of ships because of its low cost, durability, and heat-resistant properties. The common use of these asbestos products put many Navy veterans at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.