The USS Ochlockonee (AOG-33) was a Mettawee-class gasoline tanker laid down on October 18, 1944, and launched on November 19, the same year. It was commissioned on December 29, 1944, under Lt. Arthur W. Walker’s command with the hull number AOG-33 and it served in the U.S. Navy for two years until it was decommissioned on January 14, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 62 people on board and had its main missions in Aruba, San Diego, Hawaii, Canton Island, Panama, Johnston Island, and Norfolk. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on February 7, 1946, and sunk as a target during training exercises.
Everyone on board Navy ships built prior to 1980 was exposed to asbestos. Unlike many other toxic substances, the harm posed by asbestos is very clear and well documented. Exposure to this carcinogen can cause lung cancer or cancer of the esophagus, larynx, stomach, colon, or rectum. Exposure can also cause non-cancerous conditions like asbestosis and pleural disease.