SS Panama Victory (V-9) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS Panama Victory (V-9)

The SS Panama Victory set sail in 1944. Outfitted for the war on Terminal Island, this Victory ship headed to SE Asia in support of the Pacific campaign as a cargo transport ship. After a series of supply runs to Guadalcanal, the SS Panama Victory took part in operations during the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, where she suffered an attack on January 12, 1945. After WWII, she was sold to the Holland American Line and renamed Amsteldijk. Her final faith mirrored that of many Victory ships, as this vessel too was scrapped in Taiwan in 1973.

Unfortunately, asbestos-containing materials were found in virtually all the compartments of the ship, but it was most heavily used in heat-sensitive areas such as the engine room, the propulsion room, and the boiler room. While asbestos was a great insulator, it posed great hazards to human health. This mineral is a known carcinogen that produces irreparable lung damage if inhaled and it can lead to life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, even up to 50 years after the actual exposure. Navy veterans that got sick due to on-duty exposure to the cancer-causing material are eligible for free health care, disability compensation, and other VA benefits.

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