The USS Preble (DD-12) was a Bainbridge-class destroyer laid down on April 21, 1899, and launched on March 2, 1901. It was commissioned on December 14, 1903, under Lt. T. C. Fenton’s command with the hull number DD-12 and served in the U.S. Navy for 16 years until it was decommissioned on July 11, 1919. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 75 men on board and had its main missions in the Panama Canal Zone, Samoa, Hawaii, Mare Island, the Gulf of California, and San Diego. After the decommissioning, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on September 15, 1919. Several months later, on January 3, 1920, the USS Preble was sold for scrapping. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was coveted for its ability to strengthen and fireproof most everything, making it invaluable to all branches of service, particularly for the U.S. Navy. Almost every military ship during the period of World War I was built and repaired with asbestos materials, from the tiling on the ships’ flooring to electrical wiring, piping systems, and more.