The USNS Adelphi (T-AG-181) was laid down on April 22, 1945, as SS Adelphi Victory under a Maritime Commission contract at Permanente Metals Yard No.2, Richmond, California. The ship was built under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program for World War II and then launched on June 2, 1945. The Marine Transport Line of San Francisco operated the ship after World War II and after the post-war duties, the ship was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the James River in 1947. The ship got reactivated for the Vietnam War in the year 1966 and operated under commercial charter transporting supplies to Vietnam. The ship housed asbestos-containing products such as boiler and steam pipe insulation, fireproofing material for bulkheads, brake linings in winches, and gaskets of valves and pipe. Asbestos pads were also used to insulate equipment and machinery aboard US Navy Pacific Fleet ships. These pads were also found on the ship's hundreds of flanges and valves. They were designed to be readily detachable for regular maintenance of the ship's equipment. Asbestos pads were created by stuffing asbestos fabric with amosite fibers, much like a cushion. Amosite was a brand name for a kind of asbestos that was popular among the United States Navy. According to the US Navy's Insulation Schedules, amosite made up more than 85 percent of all asbestos fiber used in the insulation of a typical US Navy ship.