The USS Reuben James (DE-153) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on September 7, 1942, and launched on February 6, the next year. It was commissioned on April 1, 1943, under Lt. Comdr. Frank D. Giambattista’s command with the hull number DE-153 and served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on October 11, 1947. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Norfolk, New York, North Atlantic, Houston, Algeria, and the Caribbean. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on June 30, 1968. Three years later, on March 1, 1971, the USS Reuben James sank as a target. Due to the high content of asbestos products used in ships, Navy personnel deployed on these vessels are at high risk of having been exposed to the toxic mineral. Inhaled asbestos fibers damage the lungs, causing scar tissue to develop, making it progressively more difficult to breathe. If you served in the U.S Navy and participated in duties such as the construction, overhaul, or repair of the ships, it is very important to monitor your health and return for check-ups and X-rays every periodically.