USS F-1 SS-20 (1911-1917)

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The USS F-1 was originally launched in September 1911 by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California and was originally named Carp. The submarine was sponsored by Miss J. Tynan and renamed F-1 on November 17, 1911. F-1 was commissioned in June 1912 with Lieutenant J. B. Howell in command.



F-1 was assigned to the 1st Submarine Group, Pacific Torpedo Flotilla and operated in the waters off the San Francisco area participating in various trials and tests through January 1913. After that time she joined the Flotilla for training at sea in the waters between San Diego and San Pedro, and then in San Diego Harbor. The Flotilla was based out of Honolulu as a means of developmental operations in the Hawaiian Islands. At the end of 1912 F-1 held the world’s record for diving to a depth of 283 feet. F-1 was labeled in commission in ordinary between March 1916 and June 1917. She returned to full commission in order to serve with the Patrol Force, Pacific, making both surface and submerged runs as a part of her development of submarine attacks. When F-1 was in full commission she was based in San Pedro.

Unfortunately, while executing maneuvering exercises at sea F-1 collided with F-3 sinking F-1 immediately. 19 of F-1’s men were lost with the rest being rescued by other nearby submarines.

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.


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