The USS Allegan (AK-225) was a Crater-class cargo ship built during World War II for delivering troops, goods, and equipment to locations in the war zone. The ship was laid down as SS Van Lear Black, under a Maritime Commission contract by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, on 21 December 1943. In August 1944 the ship was converted for naval service and commissioned on 21 September 1944, with Lt. Comdr. J. Huling in command.
Thousands of people employed in U.S. shipyards and the U.S. Navy were exposed to asbestos since it was used extensively in ship construction. Consequently, many veterans found themselves exposed to the carcinogen daily during the military service, from serving on a ship, to the frequent repairs and refit, to stripping vessels in a Navy shipyard. During World War II, the SS Allegan (AK-225) was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, from 3 May to 30 June 1945. The USS Allegan (AK-225) earned one battle star for her World War II service.