USS Apogon SS-308 (1942-1946)

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The Apogon was laid down on December 9th, 1942, at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. It was commissioned on the 16th of July, 1943, and Lt. Comdr. W. P. Schoeni was given command.

Action in World War II

The Apogon left New England on September 13th and, after transiting through the Panama Canal, reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet. The submarine arrived at Pearl Harbor on October 11th. On November 3rd, after three months of training, it began its first patrol, traveling within a 60-mile radius of Moen Island and the waters between Truk and Kwajalein.

The Apogon was a part of the mission to seize the Gilbert Islands. It attacked three expected torpedo contacts and suffered some damage from the Japanese auxiliary, the Daido Its patrol ended on December 18th. It then went to Pearl Harbor for repairs. In January 1944, it left Hawaii for its second patrol in the waters of Marianas. There it attacked a convoy of six ships. After claiming to have sunken two Japanese ships, it returned to Pearl Harbor on March 9th.

Its third patrol lasted from April 2nd to May 22nd.  During this time the Apogon failed to encounter any enemy ships. It began its fourth patrol on June 8th in the waters between Formosa and the  Philippines. It was accompanied by the Guardfish, Threitr and Piranha. The convoy fought against a nine-ship Japanese convoy. During this attack the starboard side was damaged. It was forced to return on July 22nd for repairs in Midway.

After some major installments done in Pearl Harbor, the Apogon began another patrol on September 12th. It claimed to have sunken a Japanese patrol craft as well as a cargo ship.  On its sixth patrol it damaged a tanker, then returned to Pearl Harbor on January 5th, 1945.  On its seventh patrol in May, the Apogon patrolled the waters of the Kuril Islands. It sank one Japanese transporter and damaged a submarine chaser and returned to Midway on July 14th.

Its final patrol began on August 7th at Marcus Island. The submarine finally sank at Bikini during an atomic bomb test on July 1st, 1946. The Apogon was rewarded with six stars for its services during World War II.

Asbestos in Navy Ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.


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