The USS Pittsburgh / USS Albany (CA-72) was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser laid down on February 3, 1943, and launched on February 22, 1944. It was commissioned on October 10, the same year under Capt. John Edward Gingrich’s command as CA-72 and served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years until it was decommissioned on August 28, 1956. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 1,142 people on board and had its main missions in Boston, Pearl Harbor, Bremerton, Yokosuka, Ulithi, Iwo Jima, Nansei Shoto, Okinawa, Guantanamo, Gibraltar, and Tachen Island. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy Register on July 1, 1973, and sold for scrapping to Zidell Explorations Corporation the following year. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the ship received 2 battle stars. Asbestos products were used on almost all Navy ships until the early 1980s. The heat-resistant and durable properties of asbestos made it a key building material for Navy ships, since it reduced the risk of fires. Unlike most minerals which turn into dust particles when crushed, asbestos breaks up into fine fibers that are too small to be seen by the human eye. Often, individual fibers are mixed with a material that binds them together so that they can be used in many different products.