The USS Boarfish was completed on August 12, 1943, in Groton, Connecticut, launched on May 21, 1944, and commissioned on September 23, 1944. It first arrived at Pearl Harbor on December 2, 1944. Its first war patrol was in the South China Sea on January 5, 1945.
Action in World War II
On January 21, 1945, the submarine tried to torpedo a couple of Japanese convoys, but missed. However, ten days later, the Boarfish sank the Enki Maru, a Japanese cargo ship, and aided in the sinking of the Taietsu Maru.
The Boarfish submarine finished its first patrol on February 15, 1945 at Fremantle, Australia. On March 11th, the Boarfish sailed toward its second patrol in the South China Sea. It failed at a few more of its attack attempts, but did succeed in a couple of reconnaissance missions before arriving at Subic Bay for repairs on April 21, 1945.
The USS Boarfish left for the Java Sea on May 16th. During the middle of May, it failed to attack a convoy and was forced to dive to avoid depth charges. The Boarfish hit the ocean bottom and damaged a propeller. The submarine returned to Australia for repairs on June 8th and deployed again on July 5th.
On July 8, 1945, the Boarfish was halted by depth charge, narrowly finishing its South Sea patrol without damages. The submarine provided life-saving duties during Singapore air strikes from July 9th to July 29th. On August 10, 1945, it arrived back at Subic Bay where the crew heard the news of the Japanese surrender.
After the War
On November 17, 1945, the Boarfish headed to Guam for drills and maneuvers then departed for San Diego. The USS Boarfish arrived at its home port of San Diego, California in February 1946, where it operated locally for a few months. The submarine became the flagship of an exploration group of the Polar Ice Caps in the Bering Straits on July 30, 1947. On September 9th, it was ordered to the Western Pacific and returned to California from November 11, 1947 to November 15, 1947, sailing occasionally to Pearl Harbor and Alaska.
The Boarfish was decommissioned on May 23, 1948 and removed from the Naval registry on May 28, 1948. It was recommissioned in the Turkish Navy under the name TCG Sakarya (S-332) on August 23rd. The USS Boarfish (SS-327) was honored with one battle star for its WWII service.
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.