The Morris E. Crain 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. As the name suggests, she will switch hands to the Army Transportation Corps in 1950. She will deliver military cargo to Korea during the war and be returned to the Navy in 1974. Manned by a civilian crew, she will continue 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 Sgt. Morris E. Crain 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 Morris Crain would have been kept to the berth.