As a Victory ship, the vessel was laid down by the California Shipbuilding Company in 1944, under the Emergency Shipbuilding program to serve during World War II. It was operated by the Alcoa SS Company and served as a troopship in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation Magic Carpet. During the activity of the ship, it brought 2,032 troops to Hampton Roads Pier 8. In 1946, the ship was laid up in the Hudson River for a year. Subsequently, it was sold to Peru and sunk on the way to scrappers in 1969.
The SS Cody Victory was built during the time when asbestos was a very prevalent construction material and, as a consequence, there were over 300 different hazardous products aboard it. Thereby, exposure occurred in everyone who was present on the ship, leading to awful diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and mesothelioma. It is estimated that up to 30% of veterans will develop a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure during their lifetime. Navy veterans who got sick because of military asbestos exposure are eligible for free health care, disability compensation, and other VA benefits.