SS Rebecca Lukens Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS Rebecca Lukens

The SS Rebecca Lukens was a Liberty ship built in the United States during WWII and named after the owner of iron and steel mill, which later became Lukens Steel Company. She was constructed in 1944 at J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida, and launched immediately after it was finished, the same year. She was allocated to the Army Transport Service and converted into an Aircraft Repair Unit. In October 1944, she started to sail from Brookley Field for the Pacific. When arrived in Saipan, she began her mission of repairing the B-29s that were beginning their bombing missions of mainland Japan. At that period, she was the sole supplier of breathing oxygen for the B-29s high altitude, averaging 100 cylinders of compressed breathable oxygen a day. In 1945, she set sail for Iwo Jima where it supplied B-29s with over 38.000 parts and units. In 1946 she was laid upon the National Defense Reserve Fleet and sold for scrapping in 1970. Like most of the ships constructed in that period, the SS Rebecca Lukens contained large amounts of asbestos. Anyone who served onboard navy vessels should monitor their health carefully, and consult a doctor if they experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, dry cough or wheezing, chest pain or tightness.

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