The SS John Morgan was a World War II Liberty ship built in 1943 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation at their Bethlehem-Fairfield yard in Baltimore, Maryland. The ship was named after John Tyler Morgan, a U.S. Senator and general in the Confederate State Army during the American Civil War. The SS John Morgan was on her maiden voyage when on June 1st, 1943, while approaching Newport News VA she collided with an outbound ship, the tanker SS Montana, off Cape Henry VA, while en route from Baltimore to the Persian Gulf with a cargo of explosives, in Convoy NK-544. The John Morgan split in two and exploded, and her stern sank almost immediately with all but three of her complement of 69. Asbestos was widely used throughout the Navy ships, from bow to stern, in boiler and engine rooms, and as insulation and protection around any heat-producing equipment. Exposure continued throughout the 1990s, as shipyards sold scrap pieces of asbestos-containing ships that were no longer in use.