The USS Stafford (DE-411) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on November 29, 1943, and launched on January 11, the following year. It was commissioned on April 19, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. V. H. Craig’s command as DE-411 and served in the U.S. Navy for two years until it was decommissioned on May 16, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Galveston, Pearl Harbor, Boston, Kossol Roads, and Manila Bay. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on March 15, 1972, and sold for scrapping to National Metal and Steel Company the following year. Ships that were constructed or repaired up until the late 1970s were filled with asbestos materials both above and below the deck. Service members who served in the U.S. Navy spent countless hours aboard vessels and were exposed to asbestos during this time. Navy veterans who developed lung cancer, bronchial cancer, mesothelioma, colon/rectal cancer, throat/esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, plus many other types of pulmonary issues after exposure to asbestos in the military qualify for special financial benefits from the VA, including disability compensation, special monthly compensation, and service-connected death benefits for surviving family members.