The USS Sarasota (APA/LPA-204) was a Haskell-class attack transport laid down on April 11, 1944, and launched on June 14, the same year. It was commissioned for the first time on August 16, 1944, under Comdr. James I. MacPherson’s command, with the hull number APA-204 and it served in the US Navy for 6 years until it was decommissioned for the last time on September 2, 1955. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 692 people on board and had its main missions in California, Okinawa, San Francisco, Saipan, Guam, Ryukyus, Seattle, and Stockton. After the last decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on July 1, 1966, and sold for scrapping to Balboa Desquaces Maritimos in 1983. Asbestos fibers were useful due to their strength, as well as their resistance to heat and to many chemicals. The fibers did not conduct electricity, therefore, asbestos was used as an insulating material. During the first half of the 20th century, growing evidence showed that breathing in asbestos causes scarring of the lungs. If you are a U.S. Navy veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos-related diseases, you are eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds and the VA.