The USS O'Brien (DD-725) was an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer laid down on July 12, 1943, as DD-725 and launched on December 8, the same year. It was commissioned on February 25, 1944, under Commander P. F. Heerbrandt’s command and served in the US Navy for 28 years until it was decommissioned on February 18, 1972. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 336 people on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, Scotland, Cherbourg, Isle of Portland, Korea, Tokyo, and Vietnam. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register and sunken as a target. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS O’Brien received 6 battle stars, 5 for Korea and another 3 for Vietnam.
Because it was effective, inexpensive and widely available, asbestos was used extensively in building Navy ships during World War II. The shipbuilding industry is now concerned as the risk of being affected by the harmful effects of asbestos-containing materials not only lies with the shipyard workers handling such materials during assembly but also the Navy personnel aboard these ships during the military operations.