The Harry L. Glucksman was a Liberty Ship that was laid down in March 1944 under contract to be used during World War II. It was first operated under contract by the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company and then by the Isthmian Steamship Company. After the war, it was laid up in the reserve fleet and withdrawn twice, once for operation by the U.S. Navigation Company under a Military Sea Transportation and then later for coal transportation. The ship was acquired by the U.S. Navy in August 1956 and converted into a Minesweeper, Special. The ship took part in the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force research and development project. The vessel ended its service in March 1973 and was scrapped in 1975. Its ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosion made asbestos an ideal material for insulating the vessels' heat-producing components in warships. During much of the 20th century, especially during World War II and the early Cold War years, large quantities of asbestos went through shipyards into new ships and out of refurbished and decommissioned ships. Thousands of shipyard workers and Navy veterans breathed the microscopic asbestos fibers.