The SS John H. Hammond was an American Liberty-class ship built during World War II. The ship was laid down under a MARCOM contract in October 1944 at the J. A. Jones Construction’s shipyards in Brunswick, Georgia. After launch, the ship was allocated to William J. Rountree & Company for operation during the war. The SS John H. Hammond did not survive the war. It was declared a constructive total loss after it struck a mine near Elba, Italy in July 1945 and sold for scrapping in 1948. When asbestos is handled, the material can shed fibers or dust.
Enclosed, poorly-ventilated spaces, such as the engine rooms, the boiler rooms, and other places located below the deck, also tended to accumulate loose asbestos fibers and dust. When inhaled, these fibers embed themselves into lung tissues. The human body responds to the presence of these fibers by forming scar tissue, inflammation, and genetic changes that can lead to cancer.