Title: Instructions for the Operation, Care, and Repair of Compressed Air Plants (Chapter 49 - Bureau of Ships Manual)
Author: United States Navy Department
Publisher: United States Government Printing Office
Publication Date: 1944
This book says that a low pressure compressed air system is installed on practically all surface vessels of the Navy.
There are two pages that mention asbestos:
1) Section on replacing air valves mentions the use of asbestos gaskets.
2) A section on gaskets specifies asbestos gaskets use for air compressors at the air valve seats and cylinder headjoints.
See pictures for exact wording.
Chapter 49 - Bureau of Ships Manual
United States Navy Department
Condition: Good. Minor wear.
Dimensions: 6.00" x 9.00"