The USS Nicholson (DD-442), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was laid down on 1 November 1939 by Boston Naval Shipyard. The ship was launched on 31 May 1940; sponsored by Mrs. S. A. Bathriek. The destroyer was commissioned on 3 June 1941, with Commander J. S. Keating in command. The destroyer saw service during World War II in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific theaters. Following the war, the ship was placed in reserve and used as a training ship. The USS Nicholson (DD-442) was sold to the Italian Navy on 15 January 1951. It was converted to an experimental gun ship in 1970. The ship was stricken and sunk as a target in 1975. Among all military branches in the United States, veterans of the United States Navy have the greatest risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Veterans whose diagnoses have been linked to asbestos exposure while serving in the military are eligible for treatment and benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and may also be eligible for compensation through asbestos trust funds.