The USS North Carolina (BB-55) was a North Carolina-class battleship laid down on October 27, 1937, and launched on June 13, 1940. It was commissioned on April 9, 1941, under Capt. Olaf M. Hustvedt’s command with the hull number BB-55 and served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years until it was decommissioned on June 27, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 2,339 men on board and had its main missions in New York, San Pedro, Hawaii, Cuba, Tulagi, the Solomons, Pearl Harbor, New Ireland, the Marshalls, the Philippines and Okinawa. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy Register on June 1, 1960, and subsequently used as a museum ship. For the services brought to the country during its activity, the USS North Carolina received 15 battle stars and many awards. Asbestos was extensively used in the military, largely because of its impressive resistance to heat and chemical damage, tensile strength, flexibility, and insulative properties. It was also affordable, meaning that the military could construct sturdy ships, at a fraction of the cost of other materials. Exposure to asbestos fibers for long periods of time can lead to a whole host of diseases, from asbestosis to mesothelioma, with a profound financial and emotional impact on veterans and their families.