The USS Walter C. Wann (DE-412) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort laid down on December 6, 1943, and launched on January 19, the following year. It was commissioned on May 2, 1944, under Lt. Cmdr. John W. Stedman’s command as DE-412 and served in the U.S. Navy for 2 years until it was decommissioned on May 31, 1946. During its activities, the ship carried a complement of 186 people on board and had its main missions in Goldendale, Pearl Harbor, Boston, Guantanamo, Samar, Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Panama Canal, San Diego, Kingston, Sulu Sea, Mindoro Strait, and Guam. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on June 30, 1968, and sold for scrapping to National Metal and Steel Company in June 1969. Unfortunately, in performing certain duties, many veterans were exposed to asbestos, which is a toxic, carcinogenic substance. Asbestos was widely used on ships and other military vessels before it was banned in the 1970s. When the mineral’s fibers are inhaled, they can cause permanent damage to the lungs. If you are a Navy veteran, or dependent of a veteran who was exposed to asbestos during service and became ill, they might be eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds and VA claims.