The SS Arthur J. Tyrer was a Liberty Ship built by J.A. Jones Construction in Brunswick, Georgia in July 1944 and allocated to Grace Line Inc. The ship was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1953, withdrawn from the fleet and re-placed multiple times to be loaded and deliver grain under various "Grain Programs" throughout the 1950s and 1960s until 1972 when it was sold together with five other ships to N.V. Intershitra in Rotterdam to be scrapped. Almost every Navy vessel built between World War I and the late-1970s contained a large amount of asbestos. This harmful substance was ideal because of its high durability, fire resistance, and other favorable properties. Since ships were at significant risk of fires at sea, asbestos was used to reduce these hazards. Asbestos was also utilized to increase the durability of gaskets, sealants, and some filters. Navy veterans who experienced exposure to asbestos while in the military may be eligible for compensation through a benefits program developed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.