The USS Santa Fe, named after the city with the same name of New Mexico, was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in 1941 as a Cleveland-class light cruiser. It served during World War II, having received 13 battle stars for the extraordinary activity it performed throughout the conflict. The ship was sponsored by Miss Caroline T. Chavez and had Captain Russell S. Berkey in command. However, because it was built during the heyday of asbestos, the toxic mineral was present in tremendous amounts aboard the ship, which unknowingly endangered the health of everyone who was serving on it. By inhaling or ingesting the tiny fibers of this mineral, people are exposed to it, which, within 20 to 50 years, may result in a serious disease such as lung cancer or colorectal cancer. Thereby, veterans who served on the USS Santa Fe should keep a close eye on their health, as their risk of developing a terrible disease is considerable. In 1959, the USS Santa Fe was sold for scrapping to Zidell Explorations, Inc.