The SS Navajo Victory was a cargo ship built in 1994 by the California Shipbuilding Company in Los Angeles. It is one of the 218 Victory ships named after cities in the U.S. Before being launched, it was christened by Mrs. Tom Price, the wife of the general manager of Kaiser Shipyards. During World War II, the SS Navajo Victory served in the Pacific Ocean, where it conducted supply operations under the supervision of the Luckenbach SS Company. The SS Navajo Victory was eventually scrapped in Taiwan in 1985.
As is the case with all ships laid down before 1980, asbestos was present on it in enormous amounts, which made exposure inevitable for the people who were serving aboard. Following inhalation or ingestion, asbestos fibers attach themselves to various organs, such as the lungs, and gradually cause severe inflammation and tissue scarring, which may result in a series of serious, life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma. Even though the Navy issued a policy against asbestos use in ships in 1975, it was already too late for many veterans that had already been exposed to the carcinogenic mineral.