Ship's servicemen /administrationmen

Exposed to asbestos at their workplace

In charge of managing and operating the shipboard retail and service activities, such as the store of the ship, vending machines, barbershops, coffee kiosks, laundry and tailor shops, ship’s servicemen would ensure that the military personnel serving on the vessel had the most comfortable living conditions. As inventory specialists, they were also responsible with procuring and receiving stock for the store of the ship, maintaining the financial records and accounting systems, as well as ensuring that there were sufficient products stocked before the ship deployed. Their exposure to asbestos was low, since they would rarely handle dangerous products.

Claim Evaluation

Ship’s servicemen performed their duties in various environments, such as offices, the ship’s stores, barbershops, and laundry plants. They would perform administrative and automated stock control functions and operate and manage retail and service activities, which included ship stores, vending and cash collection machines, shipboard barbershops, and laundry operations. This military rating had a great role in the morale of the ship. Other duties they were responsible for were receiving, checking, storing and inventorying merchandise and materials, as well as tracking products entering or leaving the storeroom and reporting spoiled goods.

The rating of ship’s serviceman was established in 1944 and had 4 distinct categories, namely barber, cobbler, laundryman, and tailor. However, in 1948, these 4 ratings merged into the one we know today. Depending on their specific rating, people who served as ship’s servicemen would have to maintain financial records and accounting systems, manage and operate the ship’s barbershops, receive and manage retail inventory, perform hospitality services, manage and operate the ship’s laundry services and manage and operate retail and service activities afloat.

Aviation maintenance administrationmen shared some duties with ship's servicmen. During the last century, they were responsible for performing technical, managerial and support duties, maintaining directive control and custody records, control forms and reporting requirements, and preparing aircraft and maintenance related correspondence. Aviation maintenance administrationmen were exposed to asbestos to a low extent, since they rarely handle dangerous products themselves, but would work in environments where asbestos was present. Nowadays, former aviation maintenance administrationmen are at a significant risk of developing a terrible disease such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.

As a rating that was present both in the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy, storekeepers were responsible for maintaining ship or company military supply stores by purchasing, procuring, shipping, receiving, and issuing equipment, tools and other consumable products. Their responsibilities were similar to the duties of the ship's servicemen. Exposure to asbestos was moderate in storekeepers, since they would occasionally handle dangerous products directly. They would also come in contact with asbestos from the environment they were performing their duties in, as ships and submarines were laden with asbestos before 1980 when proper regulations were enforced.

The primary duties of storekeepers were verifying the incoming paperwork against the purchase order to ensure the correct part has been supplied, ensuring that the part has not been damaged in transit, maintaining a register of parts in the store, supplying the part to be fitted to the aircraft when necessary, ordering parts from the supplier, keeping a daily record of the store’s temperature and humidity, maintaining a stock of consumable products such as cloths and cleaning fluids and maintaining a stock of oils and greases. They would sometimes encounter asbestos while performing their tasks, as some of the products they would handle contained the mineral. By disturbing such products, asbestos fibers unavoidably became airborne and could easily be inhaled or ingested by storekeepers.

Relevant job titles

  • marking clerk
  • computer operator
  • laundry and dry-cleaning worker
  • presser of textile garments
  • sewer
  • aviation maintenance administrationman
  • serviceman
  • storekeeper
  • supply clerk
  • quartermaster


Filing a claim with asbestos trust funds does not disqualify you from disability compensation from the VA.

Get Help Now

Asbestos-related cancer eligible for filing a claim

If you developed one of the following cancers as a result of occupational exposure, you are eligible for compensation. If you are too ill, a family member can help you with the legal process. In the unfortunate event that you pass away before recovering compensation, your surviving family members will receive compensation on your behalf.

Lung Cancer Mesothelioma Throat Cancer Esophageal Cancer Bronchial Cancer Gastrointestinal Cancer Colorectal Cancer

If, however, you struggle with non-cancerous pleural diseases such as asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, pleural plaques, pleural effusion, diffuse pleural thickening, COPD (emphysema & chronic bronchitis), pleurisy, lung nodules, lung spots, asthma, pneumonitis, tuberculosis, rounded atelectasis or lung scarring, please seek a second or even a third opinion as the rate of misdiagnosis is very high among the victims of asbestos exposure.