USS Melucta (AK-131) Areas With Asbestos Exposure

USS Melucta (AK-131)

The USS Melucta (AK-131) was a Crater-class cargo ship built at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company, Jacksonville, Florida, during World War II. The USS Melucta (AK-131) keel was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract on 21 January 1944, launched on 20 March 1944 and placed in commission on 22 July 1944, with Captain John L. Graham in command. The Crater-class cargo ship is a category of freighter that was constructed for delivering troops, goods, and equipment to locations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. Although all branches of the U.S. military have used asbestos in the past, the Navy has the highest incidences of mesothelioma among its veterans and this is mainly due to the prevalence of asbestos used in shipbuilding. A third of all mesothelioma patients diagnosed in the U.S. are veterans who were exposed to high levels asbestos while working on ships or in shipyards. The USS Melucta (AK-131) was decommissioned there 13 December and was delivered to War Shipping Administration a few days later. Renamed SS Thomas A. McGinley, the cargo ship entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet in James River, Virginia, where she remained until she was scrapped in 1970.

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Shipmates on USS Melucta (AK-131)