The USS Wilkes (DD-441), a Gleaves-class destroyer commissioned in the United States Navy, was laid down on 1 November 1939 by the Boston Navy Yard, launched on 31 May 1940; sponsored by Mrs. Bessie Wilkes Styer; and commissioned on 22 April 1941, Lieutenant Commander J. D. Kelsey in command. After spending several decades in the reserve fleet, the destroyer was scrapped in 1972. The USS Wilkes (DD-441) received ten battle stars for its World War II service.
Asbestos is immune to the human body's natural defenses; it will not break up, disintegrate, or be removed once breathed and stuck in the lungs. Although asbestos-related claims are often regarded as a thing of the past, there is growing evidence that Navy veterans may still be at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses, in which case they should schedule an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible and request an X-ray chest or CT scan.