The USNS Perseus (T-AF-64) was laid down on March 30, 1945, as SS Union Victory under a Maritime Commission contract at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR. It was launched on June 7, the same year. The ship was converted to a Provisions Store Ship to serve in the Navy and placed in service in September 1962. After a decade of service, the USNS Perseus (T-AF-64) was struck from the Naval Register on June 15, 1973. Finally, the ship was sold for scrapping at Kaohsiung.
U.S. Navy workers in all labor trades, as well as crews living aboard ships were exposed to the harmful effects of asbestos during the course of their service. The tight spaces and lack of ventilation accelerated the spread of the toxic mineral fibers into the air and consequently, into the lungs of servicemen. Pipe insulation and countless other fireproofing materials were potential health hazards on a daily basis, throughout the entire ship, including the sleeping quarters.