As a Haskell-class attack transport ship, the USS Collingsworth was acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II to carry troops to and from combat areas. It was built by the California Shipbuilding Corporation in 1944 and sponsored by Mrs. R. H. Moulton. The hull and the engine of the USS Collingsworth have the design of a Victory ship. During World War II, Captain C. H. Anderson was in command of the ship. Since it was laid down when asbestos was a very popular building material, it was present aboard it in enormous amounts, particularly in the engine room, the propulsion room, the damage control room, and the pump room. Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and exposure to it can result in awful diseases, such as lung cancer or mesothelioma, within 20 to 50 years of the first exposure. Diseases which stem from asbestos exposure are usually very aggressive and take a great toll on the health of the sufferer, often being life-threatening. In 1946, the USS Collingsworth was decommissioned and transferred to the Maritime Commission. It was laid up in the James River and subsequently sold for scrap in 1985.