The SS John Bascom was an American Liberty Ship built by J. A. Jones Construction in Florida to be used for World War II Operations. The ship was launched in March 1943 and allocated to Moore-McCormack Lines Inc. for operation. The SS John Bascom had a short service period because the vessel got heavily damaged during the German air raid in Bari, Italy, in December 1943. The wreck was sold for scrapping in 1948. Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads, not visible to the naked eye. These fibers are not affected by heat or chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been widely used in many industries, including shipbuilding. In the late 1970s, concerns about the hazards of asbestos began to grow. While asbestos use was declining, it was too late for some people who already had been exposed to the lethal mineral.