USS Bugara SS-331 (1944-1970)
The USS Bugara was built by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. It was launched on the 2nd of July, 1944, and was commissioned on the 15th of November, 1944. The Bugara was sponsored by Mrs. Lyman S. Perry, and Commander A. F. Schade was chosen to take charge of the submarine.
Action in World War II
The USS Bugara took part in three patrols during the war, which lasted from the 21st of February until the 21st of August 1946. These patrols were located in the Gulf of Siam, the South China Seas, and the Java Sea. During its first two patrols, nothing of note happened. The third patrol took place in the Gulf of Siam, and the Bugara sank 67 small vessels, weighing 5284 tons.
After its last war patrol, the Bugara was sent to Freemantle, Australia. It soon sailed on to Subic Bay, Philippines to rendezvous with the rest of its squadron. Until the end of 1945, it ran operations in Subic Bay.
After the War
The Bugara was sent back to San Diego in January of 1946. It received an overhaul and repairs in San Diego, then made its way, in May of 1946, back to Pearl Harbor. In 1946, the Bugara underwent more repairs at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. After a training cruise in the fall in the Bering Sea, the vessel made its way, via Seattle and Portland, back to its home in Pearl Harbor. The Bugara then sailed for California at the end of October 1947.
It was put on reserve from the 20th of November 1947 until the 19th of March 1948, when it went back to Pearl Harbor. It participated in operations in Buckner Bay, Tsingtao and Yokosuka, Japan via Guan, Melbourne. These operations ended on the 24th of August 1948.
Once again the Bugara left Pearl Harbor for an overhaul in San Francisco. It arrived in San Francisco on the 15th of December 1954. It remained along the Pacific for training purposes, but while being towed near Cape Flattery, WA, the sub accidentally sank. The USS Bugara was awarded three battle stars for service during the war.
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.