The USS Pondera (APA-191) had a short but eventful life. She was built between April and July 1944 by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co. with sponsorship from Miss Elinor C. Gottlieb. For the first six months of the operation, she was used as a training vessel for pre-commissioned crews, the last two weeks of which consisted of amphibious training. Late April finds her anchored off Hagushi after delivering the 81st Construction Battalion to Okinawa. Later in June, she left the theater of combat for the Marianas with a shipment of wounded and then headed back home to San Francisco. The end of the war caught her mid-voyage in the Pacific. Disembarking her troops in Guam and Korea, she was to assist the 8th Chinese Nationalist Army as a troop transport before finally returning to San Diego and being put to rest in 1946. The ship definitely needed the asbestos fire-proofing that was basically covering her throughout, but this sadly put a dent on the health of the men who served on the USS Pondera (APA-191). Millions of veterans who have served our country have been exposed to asbestos since the early 1940s. Anyone who experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath, dry cough or wheezing, chest pain, or tightness, should make an appointment with their doctor.