As a Cimarron-class fleet oiler, the USS Severn was laid down by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc. in 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract. The main purpose of the ship was to provide liquids, such as fuel or water, to ships in the forward battle areas. It was the fourth military ship in the U.S. Navy to be named Severn. The USS Severn took part in various operations in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. For the extraordinary achievements of its crew, the ship earned 2 battle stars at the end of the conflict.
Nevertheless, the USS Severn is one of the numerous military ships that contained asbestos, which posed a great health threat to everyone who served aboard it. Exposure to asbestos can result in serious diseases that affect particularly the lungs within 20 to 50 years of the first contact with the mineral. Therefore, veterans who spent time on the USS Severn need to keep a close eye on their health, as their risk of becoming ill is high. In 1975, the ship was scrapped.