The SS Samfinn was laid down on Valentine’s Day 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract by J.A Jones Construction of Brinswick, Georgia. Her hull was of the EC2-S-C1 type with the serial number 2352. Upon completion some two months after, she was handed to the British operator Donaldson Bros &Black to be used to carry supplies to the beleaguered island and later in support of Allied operations on the Western front of WWII. Placed in reserve after the war, she will be allocated to the reserve fleet remaining berthed until 1961, when she is sold for scrap to Union Minerals & Alloys Corp.
As with all Liberty ships, asbestos was heavily used throughout her construction for lining boilers, pipes, and heat-resistant gaskets. There is little doubt that maintenance crews were exposed to a fair bit of the toxic dust while replacing parts and preparing various insulating mixtures containing a high concentration of asbestos. Boiler room, pump room, engine room, and pipe fitting personnel were particularly at risk.