The USS Towaliga (AOG-42) was a Mettawee-class gasoline tanker laid down on September 29, 1944, and launched on October 29, the same year. It was commissioned on December 14, 1944, under Lt. Robert H. Smith’s command with the hull number AOG-42. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 62 people on board. The USS Towaliga (AOG-42) served in the US Navy until it was decommissioned on May 10, 1947, and transferred to the Republic of China under the lend-lease program where she was renamed Tai Hwa. The ship was struck from the Navy list on 12 March 1948.
Long-term exposure to asbestos fibers caused many Navy veterans to develop serious health conditions, decades later. The US Navy used this toxic mineral almost in every part of their ships. By the time they realized the toxicity of asbestos, it was too late for the veterans who served onboard the USS Towaliga (AOG-42). If you or a loved one have an asbestos exposure-related diagnosis, like asbestosis, you may be entitled to VA benefits and compensation.