The SS Lewis Emery Jr. was a Liberty ship built during World War II at Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company at their yard at Mobile, Alabama. The cargo ship was named after Lewis Emery Jr., a wealthy oil man and industrialist, and 1906 Reform Republican candidate for Governor. The SS Lewis Emery Jr. was laid down on 22 September 1943, under a Maritime Commission, and launched on 15 October 1943. The ship departed New York Harbor on 18 November 1943 as part of a convoy to Scotland and Murmansk. She departed Loch Ewe on 12 December for a 21-vessel convoy run to Russia, arriving on 20 December. Six weeks were spent discharging cargo, taking on chrome ore for ballast and having slit plates repaired. The SS Lewis Emery Jr. departed Murmansk in convoy on 3 February 1944, arriving in Scotland on 11 February. It departed for the United States on 14 February in a convoy of 104 ships. Because asbestos was used in so many applications and areas in the Navy, many veterans found themselves exposed to the carcinogen daily during their military service, from serving on the ship to stripping vessels in a Navy shipyard.