The USS New Orleans (CL/CA-32) was a New Orleans-class cruiser laid down on March 14, 1931, and launched on April 12, 1933. It was commissioned on February 15, the following year under Capt. Allen B. Reed’s command as CA-32 and served in the U.S. Navy for 13 years until it was decommissioned on February 10, 1947. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 915 people on board and had its main missions in San Pedro, Portsmouth, Pearl Harbor, Noumea, Fiji, Sydney, Midway, Majuro, Guadalcanal, Truk, and Hollandia. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS New Orleans received 17 battle stars, 1 bronze star, 10 silver stars, and 206 Purple Hearts. Because of its unique physical and chemical properties, asbestos became even more of a necessity between World War II and the 1970s. Because these properties were ideal for use in ships, asbestos was commonly used to build components such as insulation, cables, and valves. Breathing in asbestos fibers can lead to a number of diseases, and veterans who get sick from asbestos exposure during their service are eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds and VA claims.