The USS Pickens (APA-190) was a Haskell-class attack transport laid down on April 22, 1944, and launched on July 21, the same year. It was commissioned on September 18, 1944, under Comdr. John V. McElduff’s command, with the hull number APA-190 and served in the US Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on April 12, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 536 people on board and had its main missions in California, Okinawa, San Francisco, Hawaii, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam, the Marianas, and Noumea. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on May 1, 1946. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Pickens received 2 battle stars.
Asbestos, due to its durable properties and anti-flammable characteristics, has been widely used in almost every Navy ship from the 1930s to the early 1980s. When the fibers are unknowingly inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the thin membrane surrounding the lungs or abdomen and cause scarring. The scarring eventually can lead to serious health issues, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer.