The USS Stag (AW-1) was one of four water distilling ships commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II. The ship was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract by Delta Shipbuilding Company of New Orleans, Louisiana, as SS Norman O. Pedrick, on 13 November 1943, and launched on 7 January 1944. She was placed in commission the same day as USS Stag (IX-128) with Lieutenant Emery A. Winckler in command. The ship was transferred to the Maritime Commission for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet at James River, Fort Eustis, Virginia and renamed SS Norman O. Pedrick, and ultimately scrapped in 1970 at Burriana, Spain. The USS Stag (AW-1), like many other Liberty ships, contained a huge amount of asbestos. Asbestos-containing materials were extensively used in boilers, turbines, pumps, gaskets, valves, cement, adhesives and pipe coverings. Navy personnel were exposed to the mineral while working in tight quarters with poor ventilation allowing asbestos fibers to accumulate in the air and then easily inhaled.