The USNS Phoenix (T-AG-172) was laid down on February 27, 1945, as SS Capital Victory under a Maritime Commission contract at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland, OR. It was launched on April 10, the same year. The ship was acquired by the US Navy and placed in service in July 1963 and stationed at Subic Bay, the Philippines as a forward floating depot. After a decade of service, the ship was struck from the Naval Register on June 15, 1973. Finally, the ship was sold for scrapping in August 1973 in Taiwan.
U.S. Navy ships were built using a great variety of products containing asbestos. Everyone who worked aboard or in the shipyards was exposed to the dangerous effects of this mineral, found mainly in insulating and fireproofing materials, because of its exceptional strength, fire-resistant abilities, and capacity to endure great amounts of heat. The use of raw asbestos fiber was also very common, so the concentration was extremely high. Many of the asbestos-containing ships that served during World War II were still in service throughout the 1970s.