Laid down in 1941, the USS Ozark (LSV-2) was built by the Willamette Iron and Steel Corporation and sponsored by Mrs. A. J. Byrholdt. It was commissioned 3 years later and earned 3 battle stars for Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa operations, as well as the Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge for World War II service.
Since it came to life during the time when asbestos was a highly popular building material, the ship contained the carcinogen in large amounts, mostly in wall insulation and components such as valves and gaskets. Everyone who served on the USS Ozark (LSV-2) inhaled asbestos fibers and is at risk for developing lung diseases. The workers in the navigation room, engine room, boiler room, and the personnel who worked around plumbing maintenance aboard this ship are at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure.