The USS William C. Cole (DE-641) was a Buckley-class destroyer escort laid down on September 5, 1943, and launched on December 29, the same year. It was commissioned on May 12, 1944, under Lt. Clay Harrold’s command with the hull number DE-641 and served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years until it was decommissioned on March 18, 1948. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 213 men on board and had its main missions in Majuro, the Marshalls, Kwajalein, Manus, the Admiralty, Guadalcanal, Cape Torokina, and New Caledonia. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Navy List on March 1, 1972. Several months later, the ship was sold for scrapping. Asbestos was contained in more than 300 products that were part of the shipbuilding process. When workers aboard these ships had to maintain them, these products often released asbestos fibers into the air which they and others onboard breathed in. Asbestos was found in the engine rooms, boiler rooms, navigation rooms, sleeping berths, and mess halls.