The USS Somali (DE-111) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort laid down on October 23, 1943, and launched on February 12, the next year. It was transferred to Free France on April 9, 1944, where it was named also Somali. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 216 men on board. It participated both in the Operation Anvil-Dragoon and in the First Indochina War before being struck in 1952. In 1972, the USS Somali was transferred back to the US Navy. Between World War I and the late 1970s, a mineral called asbestos was commonly used in many products and numerous industries, including shipbuilding. When asbestos first came on the trade market, the dangers of the fibers were unknown, it was considered safe at the time. Although there are various health conditions related to asbestos exposure, the most prevalent of these are asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, throat cancer, colorectal cancer, bronchial cancer, esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, as well as non-cancerous pleural abnormalities such as pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, benign asbestos pleural effusions, and rounded atelectasis.