The SS Howell E. Jackson was a Liberty Ship built in the United States during World War II. The ship was named after Howard E. Jackson, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. It was laid down in May 1943 under a MARCOM contract by J.A. Jones Construction in Brunswick, Georgia. The vessel was reassigned to the Marine Transport Line in September. It was placed in the reserve fleet at Wilmington, North Carolina in June 1948 and sold for scrapping in 1962.
Between World War II and the late-1970s, Navy veterans were regularly exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways and from a variety of products. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in certain types of rocks. The mineral was found to have heat-resistant properties and malleable strength, and as a result, was used throughout a number of industrial sectors, including shipbuilding.