USS G-2 SS-27 (1913-1919)

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The second of four G-class submarines, the USS G-2 was built by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Originally named the USS Tuna, she was redesignated the G-2 during construction and subsequently launched on January 10, 1912.  She was commissioned on December 1, 1913, under the command of Lieutenant Ralph C. Needham.

Service on the East Coast

For financial reasons, when the submarine experience engine problems, she was put into reserve in the summer of 1914.  The next year, she once again received a full commission, joining her sister submarine the G-1 and several other boats to conduct maneuvers off the shores of Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina.  After acceptance trials in late 1915, it was determined that the G-2 required extensive modernization and other modifications, which were completed on June 28, 1917.

At the Cape Cod Canal, the submarine assisted members of the Navy Experimental Board run tests on sound detector equipment and also served as a training ship for submarine students.  She continued operating in an experimental capacity, trying out new magnetic detectors, dragging devices, and periscopes.  When rumors of nearby U-boats surfaced, she briefly patrolled Block Island, but did not encounter the enemy.

After Service

The G-2 continued to act as a school ship throughout World War I, and was formally decommissioned on April 2, 1919.  Though she was scheduled to become a target for depth charges, before this could happen, she suddenly flooded and sank in Two Tree Channel near Connecticut.  Sadly, she took her six-man maintenance crew with her.

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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