USS Dogfish SS-350 (1946-1972)
Thus far the only U.S. Navy vessel to be named for this type of shark, the USS Dogfish SS-350 was a Balao-class submarine constructed by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. With Commander T.S. Baskett in charge, the submarine received her commission on April 29, 1946.
Service in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean
Sailing out of New London, CT, the Dogfish proceeded to the Caribbean Sea and Bermuda for training. She remained there for only a year before heading to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for overhaul and modernization. After this, she returned to New London for a time to participate in regular operations and experimental projects. However, toward the end of 1948, she began performing large-scale fleet exercises that took her from Florida all the way north to Greenland.
After a cruise of Scotland, England, and France, the Dogfish joined a convoy near Cape Hatteras in 1952. For the next three years, she remained along the East Coast and in the Caribbean. She visited the Mediterranean for the first time in 1955 as a member of the Sixth Fleet. The next year, as part of NATO’s Operation New Broom, she ported at Nova Scotia. In the summer of 1959, she returned to the Mediterranean, then received another overhaul and performed operations near New London.
The USS Dogfish was removed from the Naval Register on July 28, 1972, and she was sold to the Brazilian Navy the same day. In Brazil, she was renamed the Guanabara S-10 and served there until 1983.
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.