The USS Stockton (DD-73) was a Caldwell-class destroyer laid down on October 16, 1916, and launched on July 17, the following year. It was commissioned on November 26, 1917 under Comdr. H. A. Baldridge’s command with the hull number DD-73 and served in the US Navy for 23 years until it was decommissioned on October 23, 1940. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 128 people on board and had its main missions in Queenstown, Liverpool, and the United States. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on January 8, 1941 and transferred to UK where it was renamed HMS Ludlow.
Until the mid-1970s, more than 300 asbestos-containing materials were used as part of the shipbuilding process. When workers aboard Navy ships had to maintain them, they often released asbestos fibers and dust into the air which they and others onboard breathed in. Pipefitters, machinist’s mates, boiler operators and other Navy service members who worked with paint, valves, electrical components, floor tiles or other materials that contained asbestos could have easily been exposed to asbestos while completing their duties.