As the fourth U.S. Navy ship with this name, the USS St. Mary’s was built in 1994 by the California Shipbuilding Corporation under a Maritime Commission contract as a Victory ship. It was sponsored by Mrs. Arthur S. Tode and served during World War II. For the extraordinary operations it conducted throughout the war, it earned one battle star. The USS St. Mary’s took part in the Operation Magic Carpet by returning troops from the western Pacific to the United States. As asbestos was highly prevalent within the U.S. Navy before 1980, there were over 300 different hazardous products aboard the ship, which were posing a great danger to the health of the people present on it. Exposure to asbestos is responsible for awful, life-threatening diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. However, it takes 20 to 50 years for a disease to occur as a result of asbestos exposure, so veterans today are at high risk of receiving a dire diagnosis. In 1975, the USS St. Mary’s was withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet and sent to the breaker’s yard to be sold for scrap.