One of the first Victory ships to be built under the Emergency Shipbuilding program by the California Shipbuilding Company, the SS New Zealand Victory was completed on May 13, 1944. She will serve in the Pacific for the duration of the war and continue delivering relief supplies under the Marshall plan to East Asia sometime after. After a brief stint at Suisun Bay under the National Reserve Fleet, the SS New Zeeland Victory was recommissioned to serve in the Korean war in 1950. Between 1965 and 1973 she will change hands between a number of civilian operators: Chas.Kurz & Co of Wilmington, Delaware; the Halcyon Steamship Company from the same town; and finally, the Panamanian firm Universal Mariners S.A. She is scrapped in 1973 in Taiwan.
Like with any other ship of the same class and era, asbestos was heavily used throughout her construction. The cancer-causing mineral could have been found in all interior section but certain areas, like the engine rooms, propulsion room and boiler room constituted a higher risk of exposure for the crew.