The USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was a Belmont-class technical research ship laid down as SS Simmons Victory on February 23, 1945, under a Maritime Commission contract at the Oregon Shipbuilding Corp., Portland. It was acquired by the US Navy in February 1963 and was commissioned on April 1, 1964, under CDR. Daniel T. Wieland’s command, with the hull number AGTR-5 and served the US Navy for a year until it was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register on June 28, 1968. During its activity, the ship carried a complement of 358 people on board and was attacked and damaged by Israeli forces on June 8, 1967. The ship received the Presidential Unit Citation and was finally sold for scrapping in 1973. Asbestos exposure occurred aboard this ship as a result of the extensive use of the heat-resistant mineral in its parts. For example, asbestos lagging was often used to protect critical components such as boilers, bulkheads, electrical fittings, valves, and steam pipes. Since the 1970s, increased awareness of the long-term health risks has resulted in the recognition that, similar to naval servicemen who frequently slept in bunks surrounded by asbestos-lagged pipes, merchant seamen were also extremely susceptible to inhaling asbestos dust and fibers aboard ships.