The SS U.S.O. was a Liberty ship built at Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland, during World War II. She was named after the United Service Organizations, an American nonprofit-charitable organization designed to provide morale to servicemen deployed all across the world. The SS U.S.O. was laid down on 29 September 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract and launched on 21 October 1943. The ship survived the war, and in 1967 was wrecked and subsequently scrapped. The use of asbestos in naval ships increased greatly before and during the World Wars. The Navy used the toxic mineral because it was a cheap material with great insulation properties which brought a lot of profit, despite sickening many veterans. Navy personnel who worked on a ship or at a Navy shipyard found themselves exposed to asbestos when working on ship repairs and refits. A diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer or asbestos-related lung cancer typically comes decades after the initial exposure to asbestos. Sadly, many military veterans looking forward to relaxation in retirement instead find themselves facing the considerable stress in diagnosing and treating an asbestos-related illness.
94 years old