The USS Richard W. Suesens (DE-342) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on November 1, 1943, and launched on January 11, the following year. It was commissioned on April 26, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. Milford McQuilkin’s command as DE-342 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on January 15, 1947. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 222 people on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, Newport, Panama Canal, Manus, Leyte, Samar, Seeadler, Kerama Retto, Nasugbu, and Mindoro. Asbestos is a mineral fiber historically used among manufacturers because of its resistance to heat, electricity, and chemical damage, as well as its sound absorption properties and durability. When ingested or inhaled, asbestos fibers can enter the human body and eventually attack the protective membrane around various organs - especially of the lungs. It can take years after exposure to asbestos for symptoms to occur, and in some cases, the person with the symptoms fails to relate them to asbestos exposure until the symptoms worsen and the disease may have progressed significantly.