Named after the Botetourt County of Virginia, the ship was designed in 1944 by the California Shipbuilding Corporation under a Maritime Commission contract to serve during World War II. The USS Botetourt was a Victory ship and it also conducted operations during the Korean War. It was sponsored by Mrs. Robert C. Todd and had Comrade William A. Barr in command.
Since it was built during the heyday of asbestos, there were numerous hazardous products aboard it, products to which the people who were serving on the USS Botetourt were constantly exposed to. As a result, up to 30% of veterans struggle with awful diseases nowadays, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. In 1974, the ship was sold for scrap to the Union Minerals & Alloys Corporation.