The SS Dominator was a freighter built at Walsh-Kaiser Company, Providence, Rhode Island, during World War II. The ship was originally the American Liberty ship Melville Jacoby, named after the journalist Melville Jacoby, who after reporting on the war in China was killed in an air crash in 1942. The SS Dominator was laid down on 27 October 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract, and launched on 18 January 1944. As with most ships, exposure to asbestos on the SS Dominator occurred due to the fact that the rooms in which sailors and other navy personnel worked were extremely poorly ventilated, so that dust and fibers from the equipment containing asbestos could be easily inhaled. Among those who were highly exposed to the mineral were boiler technicians, pipefitters, welders, enginemen, and damage controlmen. On March 13, 1961, while en route to Los Angeles from Vancouver with a cargo of wheat and beef, the SS Dominator ran aground off Palos Verdes, California. For days the coast guard and others tried to get the boat back into the water, but heavy seas and high winds only forced her higher onto the rocks. A large amount of the wreck lies nowadays underwater off the coast.