The SS Elmira Victory, a Victory ship built during World War II by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation was launched on May 12, 1944, and completed on May 31, the same year. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 62 Merchant Marine and 28 US Naval Armed Guards and had delivered 6,000 pounds of ammunition for troops in the Pacific War. In 1949, after the war, the ship was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at the Houston River and was put back in service for the Korean War and Vietnam War. The ship was finally scrapped in 1993. Being the best and the most cost-effective insulating material, asbestos was used for fire resistance aboard the SS Elmira Victory, particularly in boiler rooms and near turbines, where significant heat generation takes place. When asbestos is disturbed or broken, it can release microscopic, needle-like fibers into the air. These fibers, although they cannot be seen by the naked eye, can easily be inhaled or swallowed. The fibers settle into the mesothelium, the protective membrane surrounding most of the internal organs. From there, the fibers can cause healthy cells to become cancerous.