USS Brill SS-330 (1944-1948)

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The USS Brill was a submarine during World War II and was launched on June 25, 1944, though it was not put into commission until months later. On October 26th, Commodore Harry B. Dodge took command and the submarine departed from New London, Connecticut on the 7th of December. After training, it was sent on its first patrol.

Action in World War II

The Brill’s first brush with the enemy occurred on February 20th. It had been patrolling the South China Sea when another submarine launched two torpedoes. The Brill managed to successfully avoid both, but failed to locate the enemy submarine afterwards.

On March 1st, the Brill met three patrol boats that attempted to trap the submarine, but did not succeed. Four days after that, the Brill spotted a tanker in the company of two destroyers and a plane. Although the crew tried to attack, they could not get close enough.  The following day, the Brill teamed up with the Chub to patrol the Tonkin Gulf. Two days into this, both submarines were forced to dive by enemy bombs.

Once again, on March 15th, enemy torpedoes were launched at the vessel while it offered lifeguard services to American bombers at Hainan Island; the Brill failed to destroy the enemy once again. Except for a special mission on Sakala Island, the following few months were uneventful.

The next contact with enemies came on July 11th when the Brill faced two patrol vessels; the Brill fired 11 torpedoes, but only hit the enemy once. July 19th brought another clash with enemies, forcing the submarine to run into a small convoy of ships; this was the last conflict before Japan surrendered on August 15.

After the War

The submarine was awarded a battle star for its part in World War II. After that, the Brill served in the Philippine Sea Frontier until January of 1946, when it was ordered to Pearl Harbor for motor repairs. Its next assignment was in September 1946, taking the crew into the Arctic Ocean. The boat returned to Pearl Harbor, where it spent the next year taking part in training. The Brill was decommissioned on May 23, 1948.

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.

Naval Historical Center

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