USS Cubera SS-347 (1945-1972)
The USS Cubera SS- 347 was a ship named for the cubera, a large fish from the snapper family native to the West Indies. A Balao- class submarine, she was launched June 17 1945 by Electric Boat Co. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. J. Taber and Commanded by Lieutenant Commander R. W. Paine, Jr.
The Cubera tested sonar equipment, provided services to experimental antisubmarine warfare development projects in the Florida Strait and join in fleet exercises until July 4 1947 when she sailed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for an extensive Guppy II modernization.
In Key West , Florida the Cubera operated locally at the port as well as taking part in fleet exercises in the Caribbean and Atlantic. In 1955 the ship stared in Ray Harryhausen’s film It Came From Beneath the Sea, as a submarine used to send off the movie’s giant octopus.
After filming, the ship returned to local operations participating in fleet exercises in the Caribbean. From 1959-1960 she was assigned to Task Force Alfa, a force that was created to conduct constant experiments in hopes of improving antisubmarine warfare techniques. As a part of this force, she cruised the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Bermuda.
In 1972 Cubera was decommissioned and sold to Venezuela. She was renamed ARV Tiburon and eventually scrapped in 1989.
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.