The SS James H. Kimball was a Liberty Ship built by the United States for service during World War II. The ship was constructed by J.A. Jones Construction in Panama City, Florida in March 1944 and transferred to American Export Lines in May the same year to be operated during the war. After the war, the vessel was laid up in the reserve fleet at Astoria, Oregon, and sold for commercial use in 1947. It was grounded in the River Gironde because of engine issues in December 1968. It was later declared a total loss. Asbestos can handle high temperatures and is resistant to fire. Since a fire at sea is a disaster, asbestos was widely used on ships to protect the ships and sailors from fire. In addition, asbestos naturally resists corrosion and was used for critical ship systems, including insulation. While the mineral was originally used to make vessels safer, it was found to cause lung cancer, asbestosis, bronchial cancer, and mesothelioma - a rare form of cancer, which often attacks the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart, and other major organs.