The SS John McKinley was a Liberty Ship built in Brunswick, Georgia, during World War II and named after John McKinley, the first Alabama resident to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, from 1838 to 1852. The speed at which Liberty Ships were constructed allowed the US to build cargo vessels faster than German U-boats could sink them. Throughout the war, Liberty Ships were manned members of the US Merchant Marine, with gun crews provided by the US Naval Armed Guard. SS John McKinley was laid down on 23 March 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract sponsored by Myrtle McCranie Willacoochee, and launched on 31 July 1943. The ship was allocated to Dichman, Wright, and Pugh, on 20 August 1943. On 19 October 1945, she entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay. It was sold to Zidell Exploration, Inc., Portland, Oregon, for $45,101, and delivered for scrapping on 7 February 1967. Men who served on the SS John McKinley or participated in her repair were exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos, putting them at risk of developing life-threatening illnesses like lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, throat cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer.