The USS Altair (AK-257), a Greenville Victory-class cargo ship was laid down as SS Aberdeen Victory on April 20, 1944, under a Maritime Commission contract at Oregon Shipbuilding Co., Portland OR. With a complement of 250 men, most of the asbestos exposure aboard this ship occurred in engineering spaces and boiler rooms. The regular repair and upkeep of Navy ships resulted in the generation of asbestos dust. Asbestos-containing insulation attached to pipes, valves, and other equipment was often manipulated and removed as part of ship maintenance operations. Asbestos dust was produced during the maintenance and overhaul of equipment (such as propulsion equipment) when employees fixed, dismantled, maintained, replaced, and moved such equipment. The ship was launched on May 30, 1944, and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during World War II. The ship was acquired by the U.S. Navy on July 07, 1951, and was commissioned as USS Altair (AK-257) under CDR. George J. Largess' command on January 31, 1952 and served the Navy for one year until it was decommissioned on January 5, 1953, at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for conversion to a General Stores Issue Ship.