The USS Xanthus (AR-19) was a U.S. Navy repair ship belonging to the Xanthus-class that was used during World War II. The ship was built as HMS Hecla, under a MARCOM contract and intended to be delivered to the Royal Navy in June 1944. It was delivered to the Navy in August and commissioned in December the same year. The ship served at Pearl Harbor as a repair ship and later at Okinawa as part of the Service Squadron 104. It was sent to Norfolk, Virginia in the spring of 1946 and laid up at the Maritime Commission facility in the James River, Group, Virginia. It was sold for scrapping in 1974. Asbestos is a collective term for six naturally occurring fibrous minerals. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers are also lethal carcinogens when inhaled. For decades, the use of products containing asbestos was widespread across numerous industries in the United States. Between the 1930s and the 1970s, thousands of Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos, putting them at risk of developing mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other diseases.