The USS Entemedor, a Balao-class submarine, was originally named the Chickwick and was renamed in September 1942. The submarine was originally launched in December of 1944 by the Electric Boat Company out of Groton, Connecticut and was sponsored by Mrs. E. V. Izac. The Entemedor was commissioned in April 1945 with Lieutenant Commander W. R. Smith Jr., in command.
After World War IIEntemedor first reached Pearl Harbor in September 1945 on her way to Marcus Atoll where she would undergo advanced training and preparation for war patrols. On her first patrol she served as a lifeguard for air strikes on Marcus Island before being deployed to patrol the waters off Japan. After the hostilities of the war ceased Entemedor was sent to Saipan, arriving in August.
In September of 1945 the sub returned to Seattle where she began a program of training operations along the west coast from San Diego. From 1946-1947 the sub made extended cruises in the Far East, basing at Subic Bay. She was first decommissioned and placed in reserve at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in December 1948. Entemedor was re-commissioned in October 1950 and trained off the coast of California, sailing to New London in January 1951, and operating in the Atlantic for the remainder of the year. In 1952 Entemedor underwent GUPPYIIA modernization and afterward was placed in commission in reserve, being returned to active status in October 1952.
Other important exercises for the Entemedor include sailing for the midshipman cruise to the ports of northern Europe during the summer of 1958, as well as deploying every second year beginning in 1953 to the Mediterranean in order to serve with the 6th Fleet. Stateside operations included large-scale exercises off the east coast, serving as a target for Task Force “Alfa,” aiding in the development of antisubmarine warfare techniques.
In July 1972 Entemedor was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register, having been sold to Turkey under the terms of the Security Assistance Act. Entemedor was renamed TCG Preveze (S 345), and was not decommissioned and struck from the Turkish Naval rolls until 1987.
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.