The USS Wagner (DE-539) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on November 8, 1943, and launched on December 27, the same year. It was commissioned on November 22, 1955, under Lt. Cmdr. Edward A. Riley’s command as DE-539 and served in the U.S. Navy for 5 years until it was decommissioned on March 31, 1960. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 215 people on board and had its main missions in Roosevelt Roads, Boston, and Newport. After decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on November 1, 1974, and used as a target ship during training exercises the following year. Because it is resistant to heat, which prevents it from catching fire, asbestos was widely used on ships from 1930 to 1970. Asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period, so your diagnosis may be traced back even if you were exposed to asbestos decades ago. Exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of serious health problems, including lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.