The USS Stern (DE-187) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort laid down on August 12, 1943, and launched on October 31, the same year. It was commissioned on December 1, 1943, under Comdr. James R. Hinton’s command with the hull number DE-187 and served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years until it was decommissioned on April 26, 1946. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 216 men on board and had its main missions in Bermuda, New York, Maine, North Africa, Casablanca, Bizerte, San Diego, Ulithi, the Marshalls, the Carolines, Luzon, Guam, and the Philippines. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Stern received 3 battle stars. Because asbestos was used in so many applications and areas in the Navy, many veterans found themselves exposed to the hazardous mineral during their military service. Asbestos was an ideal material for use in the shipbuilding industry to protect key components including boilers, bulkheads, electrical fixtures, valves, and steam pipes.