Named after the 3rd and 5th territorial governor of Florida, the SS Richard K. Call was laid down on the 21st of February 1944 and launched on April 15th of the same year. Built by the St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company from Jacksonville, the 12,000 tons Richard K. Call was to have a relatively long career for a ship in its class, mainly with the US Merchant Mariners where it served as cargo during WWII. She was scrapped in 1970, around the same time that multiple US naval branches started abandoning the use of asbestos as an insulation material for their ships. As the only effective option for fireproofing available during the 1940s, materials containing asbestos could have been found in all areas of the ship, from the engine rooms to the mess hall. The fact that the speed of production was prioritized over build quality for this class, means that sailors who served on Liberty ships were even more susceptible to asbestos dust contamination than their colleagues operating sturdier vessels.
USS Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23) - Facts and Asbestos Exposuremore »