USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain (T-AK-244) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain (T-AK-244)

The USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain (T-AK-244) was laid down by the Permanente Metals Corporation of Richmond, Virginia as Mills Victory, a Boulder Victory-class ship sponsored by Miss Jane McVeigh. She was commissioned to the War Shipping Administration on the 21st of April 1945 and served in the Pacific theater. She delivered military cargo to Korea during the war and returned to the Navy in 1974. Manned by a civilian crew, she continued to act as a transport until an unknown date. Records show she was decommissioned in April 1975, only to return to active duty some months after. Considering that during this time the Navy was actively phasing out ships where asbestos was heavily used, we find it a bit weird that the USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain (T-AK-244) didn’t stay out of commission. Members of her crew might have been spared some unnecessary risks, or some potential grief if the asbestos-laden USNS Sgt. Morris E. Crain (T-AK-244) would have been kept to the berth. Asbestos was frequently used for decades in shipyards and in the production of Navy vessels. The hazardous mineral was employed to fireproof the ships and was also used on the boilers, pipes, flooring, valves, turbines and engine parts.

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