The SS Stephen Hopkins was a U.S. Merchant Marine Liberty ship built at Permanente Metals Corporation (Kaiser) shipyards in Richmond, California. She was named after Stephen Hopkins, a Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The SS Stephen Hopkins was launched in April 1942. Five months later she fought and sank the German commerce raider Stier. During World War II, the German Navy used heavily armed, converted merchant ships as "auxiliary cruisers" to prey on Allied shipping. Although the SS Stephen Hopkins had a very brief life, she was the greatest fighting ship in American history, despite being an "SS" vice a "USS."
Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, but it can also cause lung cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural plaques, atelectasis, and many other severe conditions. We recommend anyone with a history of asbestos exposure report any early symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough or chest pain, and ask their physician for a chest X-ray or CT scan.