Launched by the California Shipbuilding Company on January 26, 1944, the SS China Victory was to be sponsored by the wife of the Republic of China consul in LA, Mrs. T.K. Chang. Her christening followed both European and Chinese traditions, with the breaking of a Champagne bottle on her hull and the invocation of an ancient Chinese sea dragon. Men of the 233rd Engineer Combat Battalion and their gear were to be her first cargo, headed for Guam to take part in the second battle for the island. The China Victory was to later transport troops and kit for the battle of Leyte Gulf, the battle for Iwo Jima, culminating in Okinawa from April to late June 1945. Throughout her WWII career, she carried an estimated 35 tons of weapons and trucks and 650 tons of munitions with a little over 10 tons cargo capacity. Laid down for a while after WWII, the China Victory returned to active service upon the beginning of the Korean War, for which she will carry troops and materiel until 1953. Sold into civilian service, she will end her life in Republic of China territorial waters in 1972.
Used for heat and water shielding, asbestos lined much of the interior of the ship. It could be found in great quantity in the engine rooms, pump room, damage control room, and propulsion room.