The USS St. Lo (CVE-63) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier laid down on January 23, 1943, and launched on August 17, the same year. It was commissioned on October 23, 1943, with the hull number CVE-63 under Capt. Francis J. McKenna’s command and served in the US Navy for 1 year until it was sunk by a kamikaze aircraft on October 25, 1944. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 916 men on board and had its main missions in Saipan, Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, Tinian, Manus, and Leyte. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS St. Lo received 4 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation for the activity during the Battle off Samar.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral commonly used as an insulation material in the military, from the 1930s to the early 1980s, due to its fire resistance. Today, the mineral is carefully regulated due to its significant health risks. Veterans who developed conditions attributed to asbestos exposure while serving in the Navy, Merchant Marines, or Coast Guard, can apply for benefits.