The USS Panda (IX-125) was an Armadillo-class tanker designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel and commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. The ship was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract by Delta Shipbuilding Company, in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 19 October 1943 as SS Opie Read, and launched on 3 December 1943. Because of its affordability, tensile strength, and due to the property of being thermally inert, asbestos was included in hundreds of products used in U.S. Navy ships, naval records, repair logs, war diaries, and historical documents have proven this. Veterans are now at risk for developing lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases due to asbestos exposure sustained while on active duty serving their country. During World War II, the USS Panda (IX-125) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the Leyte operation considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II. The USS Panda earned one battle star for World War II service.