SS LeBaron Russell Briggs Areas With Asbestos Exposure

The SS LeBaron Russell Briggs was a Liberty ship built at J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida, during World War II. The cargo ship was named after LeBaron Russell Briggs, an American educator, president of Radcliffe College and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The ship was laid down on 29 March 1944, under a Maritime Commission and launched on 12 May 1944. The reason for the heavy usage of asbestos in the U.S. Navy was that the mineral possesses physical and chemical properties for insulating, as it has low conductivity. Therefore, until asbestos usage was regulated in the 1970s, the ships hosted the toxic mineral in massive amounts. Crewmembers exposed to asbestos on the ship are now at risk of developing various asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, throat cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer, because these illnesses caused by asbestos exposure appear decades later. On 18 August 1970, the SS LeBaron Russell Briggs, loaded with 12,500 M-55 rockets containing nerve gas, was scuttled in 16,600 feet of water 282 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Hydrophones and tape recorders were used to monitor the sinking of the ship.

High risk of asbestos exposure

  • Engine Rooms
  • Damage Control Room
  • Pump Room
  • Propulsion Room

Medium risk of asbestos exposure

  • Powder and Shot Magazine
  • Ward Room

Low risk of asbestos exposure

Questions about asbestos exposure? We can help!