The USS Wacissa (AOG-59) was a Patapsco-class gasoline tanker laid down on November 11, 1944, and launched on June 15, the following year. It was commissioned on February 18, 1952, with the hull number AOG-59 and it served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years until it was struck from the Navy List on December 1, 1963. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 131 people on board and had its main missions in Florida, Panama, Mayport, San Francisco, Aruba, Halifax, California and Argentia. After striking, the ship was sold to the Nicolai Joffre Corporation in 1964.
Because of its affordability, and unique properties, all branches of the military used asbestos particularly during World War II, but the U.S. Navy used asbestos extensively in shipbuilding, maintenance, and repair. Consequently, many Navy personnel assigned to refit or repair naval vessels have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos before the health risks of asbestos were officially acknowledged in the mid-1970s.