Named after the Broadwater County of Montana, the ship was built by the California Shipbuilding Corporation in 1944 under a Maritime Commission contract and was sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Florer. It served during World War II with Captain George G. Herring, Jr. in command. The USS Broadwater underwent fitting out and underway tests, following which it began training out of San Pedro, California. Subsequently, the ship commenced amphibious training in San Diego. One of the purposes of the USS Broadwater was to transport cargo.
Asbestos was present in tremendous amounts on the ship, which is why today, 30% of veterans struggle with diseases which stem from exposure to the toxic mineral. Exposure to asbestos can lead, over the decades, to terrible diseases such as lung cancer and occurs when one inhales or ingests asbestos fibers from the air. The USS Broadwater was sold for scrap in 1974.