The USS Robert Brazier (DE-345) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on November 16, 1943, and launched on January 22, the following year. It was commissioned on May 18, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. Donald D. Snyder’s command as DE-345 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on September 16, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in New York, Hollandia, Panay, Leyte, Okinawa, San Pedro, Tokyo, Mindanao, Kossol Roads and Mindoro. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on January 1, 1968, and used as a target ship during training exercises the following year. Any time asbestos products begin to deteriorate or are drilled, sanded, cut, or in any way disturbed, microscopic asbestos fibers enter the air where human beings breathe them in. Asbestos fibers can remain airborne for hours, placing all those nearby in danger. When a person inhales these microscopic fibers, they can be trapped in the digestive tract or in the respiratory system. These "stuck" fibers can lead to damage to the person’s DNA, as well as inflammation - which, years later, can cause cancer.