The USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) was a Samuel Gompers-class destroyer tender laid down on July 9, 1964, and launched on May 14, 1966. It was commissioned on July 1, 1967, under Capt. Harry Risch’s command with the hull number AD-37 and served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years until it was decommissioned on October 27, 1995. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 1,056 people on board and had its main missions in San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka, Sasebo, Kaohsiung, Guam and Norfolk. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on April 7, 1999, and sunk as a target during training exercises in 2003. Asbestos products were used extensively on American ships from the early 1940s through the late 1970s - when new specifications reduced the use of asbestos on ships - for insulation of steam and hot water pipes, boilers, and tanks in machinery space, in the ceiling tile, and in fire-resistant sheets in bulkheads and in joiner bulkhead systems in living space. Everyone who served on this ship inhaled the asbestos fibers and is at risk of developing incurable diseases decades after the exposure happened.