USS Chub SS-329 (1944-1948)
Originally named the Bonaci, the Balao-class submarine was renamed on September 24, 1942. Built by the Electric Boat Company, sponsored by Mrs. T. A. Risch, and commanded by Commander C. D. Rhymes, Jr., the Chub was Launched on June 18, 1944.
Action in World War II
After her commissioning on October 21, 1944, the Chub reached Pearl Harbor on January 24, 1945, completing final training before sailing to action waters on February 13. During her first war patrol, which took her through the Tonkin Gulf and the Java and South China Seas, she made four narrow escapes from destructions. March 3 saw her evade an enemy submarine’s torpedo attack, while on March 29 the Chub found herself on a surface chase of an escort group. Though forced to submerge six times due to enemy aircraft fire, the Chub continued her chase throughout the night. On their last pass, the enemy aircraft dropped bombs, clearly indicating that the chase must be broken off.
The next day the Chub rescued three downed pilots in the Yulikan Bay while being strafed and having two Japanese patrol crafts looming. While diving on April 12, an enemy plane bombed the Chub, which damaged the submarine and caused a temporary loss of power. Fortunately, the enemy plane had apparently exhausted its bomb supply on the first run, as the Chub was able to surface without further attack.
After putting into Fremantle, Australia for repair and refit on April 18, 1945, the submarine left on May 14,
sailing for her second war patrol in the Java Sea. During this war patrol, the Chub sank the minesweeper, W-34, which had come hunting for her. She also attacked two freighters. However, the damage done to Japanese shipping lanes by this time left few targets for the Chub and she put in to Subic Bay from June 21 to July 15 for a refitting. Returning to the Java Sea for her third war patrol, the Chub sank several small craft, despite attacks from the remaining Japanese air strength. After sailing back to Fremantle on August 17, she sailed to Subic Bay for training that lasted through 1945. She then returned to the west coast.
After the War
Operating out of her new home port, Pearl Harbor, and returning to the west coast for overhaul in 1946, she served in the Far East on simulated war patrol from November 12, 1946 to February 14, 1947. In late 1947, she joined a training cruise in Alaskan waters, voyaging from Seattle to San Francisco with reservists on board. Receiving an overhaul at San Francisco, she sailed to New London on March 4, 1948, then crossing the Atlantic and Mediterranean to arrive at Izmir, Turkey on May 11. On May 23, 1948, she was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register. She served in the Turkish Navy until being returned to the United States and sold for scrapping. She received three battle stars for her three successful war patrol and was credited with sinking 4,200 tons of shipping.
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.