The SS Philippines Victory has the distinction of being the fifth ship of her class ever built, completed in May 9, 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Company. During the war, she served in the Pacific as a cargo vessel, carrying supplies to Hawaii, Australia, and New Guinea. She will be laid up for a short time after the war at Suisan bay in California, until sold to a civilian operator in 1947. Upon delivery, the Cie. Maritime Belge CMB of the Netherlands renamed her SS Mahenge and used her as a cargo transport until 1952, the year that saw her sink in the English Chanel after colliding with another ship in foggy conditions. In 2007, divers found her standing up right at the bottom of the sea with the derrick cranes still intact.
Her 46 crew and three passengers are reported to have been rescued but that doesn’t mean the ship didn’t make any victims for the 18 years it was afloat. Many areas in her interior were lined with asbestos, and dust from this carcinogenic mineral might have been inhaled by members of her crew. Sailors operating the damage control room, the boiler room and the engine and propulsion rooms were particularly at risk.