SS Samselbu (MC-2354) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

SS Samselbu (MC-2354)

The SS Samselbu was laid down on the first of March 1944 by J.A. Jones Construction and launched soon after on the 16th of April. She was sponsored by Mrs. William H. Burnhardt and bore the yard number of 139. She was not to sail under that numeric designation, however, as she was quickly transferred to the British Ministry of War Transportation soon after her completion. This must have borne her ill-luck, as the SS Samselbu was one of the very few Allied transport ships to be actually lost to enemy fire (albeit passive) after the Normandy landings.

This happened on the 19th of March 1945 when she hit a mine off the coast of Belgium, presumably carrying war materials to the NW European ports liberated by the Allies in the winter of the previous year. Supposing that her crew didn’t drown in the cool waters of the Eastern Atlantic, the ship’s sinking can even be seen as a blessing in disguise, since her structure was chock-full of toxic asbestos. This covered all areas of the ship, including the crew courters, mess hall, etc.

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