The SS Harold T. Andrews was a Liberty Ship built in the United States to be used in World War II. It was named after Harold T. Andrews, a crewmember who saved an engineer who was trapped in the forepeak tank while serving on the SS West Nohno in September 1942. He was awarded the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal after his death. The ship was laid down in November 1943, under contract, by J.A. Jones Construction in Panama City, Florida. It was allocated to Baland & Cornelius in February 1944. It was placed in the reserve fleet in July 1946 and sold for commercial use in 1949. Between World War II and the late-1970s, the Navy was one of the country’s largest buyers of asbestos due to its heat-resistant properties. For instance, Navy destroyers built for World War II carried up to 30 tons of thermal insulation containing the mineral; the USS Iowa class of battleships had almost 465 tons of thermal insulation. For decades, virtually every pipe and many of the ventilation ducts on a wide range of Navy ships contained amosite-type asbestos.