The USS Wildcat (AW-2) was a Stag-class tanker, built at Delta Shipbuilding Company, New Orleans, Louisiana, during World War II. Originally projected as the Liberty ship tanker SS Leon Godchaux, the ship was classified as IX-130, an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, and renamed Wildcat on 27 October 1943 and acquired by the Navy under a bareboat charter from the War Shipping Administration. The USS Wildcat (AW-2) keel was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract on 16 November 1943 and launched on 7 January 1944. The threat of fire on the Navy ships could be as dangerous as an enemy attack which is why asbestos – a highly effective heat insulator was extensively used on naval vessels. Many Navy veterans can recall sleeping in bunks where asbestos wrapped pipes were placed inches from their mouth and nose. Anyone who served onboard the USS Wildcat (AW-2) or participated in her repair and overhaul was put at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. During World War II the USS Wildcat (AW-2) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. She was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.8.1 Service Group - Repair and Service Unit for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946.