The USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain was built by Permanente Metals Corporation in Richmond, California. Originally named the S.S. Mills Victory, it was laid down on February 14th, 1945. On March 13th, 1945, it was launched as the USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain. This ship was sponsored by Miss Jane McVeigh and delivered to the War Shipping Administration on April 21st, 1945. It was 455 feet in length and weighs 15,589 tons. The propulsion system was made up of a steam turbine and has a single propeller system.

This ship was originally built for the Army until 1950, which was when it was transferred in as a U.S. Naval Ship. In service, the Sgt. Morris E. Crain was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship. Built at the end of WWII, it served the war as a commercial cargo vessel. The ship made trips to major islands in the Pacific Ocean and carried cargo to Korea in support of the United Nations there.

In 1974, the  Sgt. Morris E. Crain continued to run with a civil service crew. It was assigned to the Military Sealift Command, which enabled it to carry cargo for all military branches. The USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain was, however, struck from the Navy list on April 1st, 1975.

Asbestos in Navy Ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet, some auxiliary vessels also posed a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.

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