The USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was a Pennsylvania-class battleship laid down on October 27, 1913, and launched one year later on March 16, 1915, with the hull number BB-38. The ship was commissioned on June 12, 1916, and carried a complement of 1,358 people on board. Due to its construction period, the vessel was able to participate both in World War I and in World War II. On August 29, 1946, the vessel was decommissioned after it served in the US Navy for 30 years. For the services brought during World War II, the ship received 8 battle stars and one Navy Unit Commendation.
Because asbestos products were widely used on ships from 1930 to 1970, veterans who worked in the Navy and Coast Guard are at the highest risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. The closed-in spaces inside ships and limited ventilation made it more likely that Navy personnel would inhale or ingest dangerous levels of asbestos fibers anytime the material was disturbed. Those who worked below deck, in submarines, and in shipyards were most at risk of high asbestos exposure.