The USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on August 18, 1943 and launched on November 17, the same year. It was commissioned on March 9, 1944 under Lt. Cmdr. Harry A. Barnard’s command as DE-403 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on July 2, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Morotai, Leyte, Manus, Boston and Ulithi. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on June 30, 1968 and sold for scrapping in June, the following year. The most common diseases that result from inhaling asbestos - lung cancer, bronchial cancer, esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, asbestosis, as well as cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs - mesothelioma, can remain undetected for as many as 40 years. Because Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos when working in certain capacities where the mineral was extensively used, even the mildest symptom must be taken seriously and discussed with a doctor.