The USS Vella Gulf (CVE-111) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier laid down on February 7, 1944, and launched on October 19, the same year. It was commissioned on April 9, 1945, with the hull number CVE-111 under Capt. Robert W. Morse’s command and served in the US Navy for 11 years until it was struck from the Navy List on June 1, 1960. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 1066 men on board and had its main missions in San Diego, Hawaii, Tokyo Bay, Guam, Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, Saipan, and Japan. After the striking, the ship was sold for scrapping to American Ship Dismantlers in Portland. For the services brought to the country during World War II, the USS Vella Gulf received 1 battle star. Ship fires were a common problem without many solutions until asbestos insulation and fireproofing materials came along. During World War II, American shipyards launched around three warships a day. From the boiler room to cabin ceiling tiles, the shipbuilding industry has taken advantage of this durable, fire-resistant mineral to make ships safer. Unfortunately, this safety measure exposed millions of industry workers and Navy service members to this dangerous mineral.