USS Bonefish SS-223 (1942-1945)

The USS Bonefish SS 223 made its mark in history by earning Navy unit commendations and seven battle stars for her service in the World War II.

Action in World War II

The Bonefish departed from Moreton Bay on September 16th, 1942, for her very first war patrol. On September the 27th, she fired 4 torpedoes at the lead ship, the largest of five. On October 6th, she came across a third convoy of ships and scored two hits on the cargo vessels. On October the 10th, the Bonefish fired four torpedoes and sank both cargo ships. This concluded her very first war patrol. The Bonefish began her second war patrol on November 22nd in the South China Sea. She entered the Flores Sea on November the 28th. Ranging from the 29th of November to the 12th of December she had some very successful missions with only one target’s fate unknown. In January of the next year, the Bonefish began her third war patrol. She discovered a very large vessel on the 22nd of January; the crew was suspicious and as the Bonefish approached, then fired, and they all abandoned ship. On February the 6th the sub encountered 17 ships, hitting two targets but sinking none.  April the 13th saw the beginning of the Bonefish's fourth war patrol, in which she encountered four ships on the Mindanao coast. Two torpedoes struck an 806-ton passenger-cargo ship and she was successfully sunk the ship. The next day, the Bonefish fired four torpedoes at a cargo ship and hit it three times but failed to sink it. The Bonefish began her fifth war patrol on June 25th, to the Celebes Sea once again. She had quite a few successful missions there. Sinking most of her targets and successful evasion were becoming a common occurrence for the Bonefish.

Disappearance at Sea

The sixth patrol was her final patrol as the Bonefish never made it to the scheduled pre transit meeting, and on July the 30th the Bonefish was assumed to be lost. Past records do reveal that a Japanese cargo ship had been fired at and sunk and that appears to be the last that was seen of the Bonefish.  She is presumed to have sunk in action.

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. References:
Naval Historical Center