The USS Vesuvius (AE-15) was an ammunition ship that served in the US Navy for almost 23 years. The 459-foot long ship, with a 63-foot beam, was launched on May 26, 1944, and commissioned on January 16, 1945, under Comdr. Flavius J. Goerge's command. The USS Vesuvius participated in 3 important wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. During World War II, the vessel had the mission to load the US fleet located at Earle, New Jersey, and Japan with ammunition. Due to the activity accomplished during the 3 wars, the USS Vesuvius received a total of 14 battle stars. On August 14, 1973, the vessel was decommissioned for the last time and struck from the Naval Register the same day. More so than the other military branches, Navy veterans face an especially heightened risk of developing asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Between the 1940s and mid-70s, asbestos was so commonly used in the construction of vessels that it was nearly impossible to build a Navy ship free of the mineral.