The USS New Kent (APA-217) was a Haskell-class attack transport ship of the U.S. Navy. It was built in 1944 by the Permanente Metals Corporation in Richmond, California to serve during World War II. It was named after the New Kent County of Virginia. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. W. J. Maher and had Captain Frank Monroe, Jr. in command during the conflict. The crew of the USS New Kent earned multiple awards and received numerous honors for their outstanding performance, such as the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal. Since asbestos was a very popular building material before 1980, when proper regulations concerning the use of the mineral came into effect, the USS New Kent contained enormous amounts of asbestos, particularly in the engine room, the pump room, the damage control room, and the propulsion room. Asbestos exposure, which occurs when a person inhales or ingests asbestos fibers, can lead to the development of terrible diseases, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. The veterans who served aboard the USS New Kent may have developed a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure. In 1971, the ship was sold for scrap to the Union Minerals and Alloys Corporation.