The SS John Catron was an American Liberty Ship that was built and used during World War II. The ship was built by J. A. Jones Construction under contract in September 1942 and allocated immediately after launch to American Steamship Corporation. The ship survived the war and it was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Mobile, Alabama. It was eventually sold for scrapping in December 1971.
The shipyard industry includes workers manufacturing, dismantling and assembling, and performing maintenance on maritime vessels. A number of trades are involved in these processes, including welders, riggers, painters, custodians, mechanics, and more. Between World War II and the late-1970s, employees in these trades experienced high levels of exposure to asbestos. U.S. Navy is believed to be the military branch with the highest rate of asbestos use and, as a result, the highest risk of developing life-threatening illnesses such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.