The SS John Barton Payne was an American Liberty-class ship built for service during World War II. The vessel was laid down in November 1943 by J. A. Jones Construction in Panama City, Florida under contract and allocated to Isthmian Steamship Corporation for operation during the war. It was laid up in the reserve fleet at Mobile, Alabama in November 1947 and sold in October 1971 for scrapping.
On ships built from the early 1940s through the late 1970s, asbestos was found in many products such as asbestos pipe covering, asbestos block, asbestos cement or mud, amosite blankets and asbestos cloth, and asbestos gaskets and packing. These products were applied to steam pipes, boilers, turbines, generators, valves, pumps, and other equipment aboard ships and submarines. These asbestos-containing products would be removed and then reinstalled for both minor repairs and major overhauls.