USS G-3 SS-31 (1915-1922)
Though she was originally known as the Turbot, the USS G-3 was renamed while still under construction by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company. She was completed at the New York Navy Yard, launched in 1913, and commissioned on March 22, 1915, under command of Lieutenant Felix X. Gygax.
Service on the East Coast
During test runs in Long Island Sound, the crew observed leaks in the hull, and the G-3 was sent back to the Lake Company for repairs that lasted until January of 1916. When these were complete, she performed a test dive to 198 feet, earning her preliminary acceptance by the Navy, which sent her on a shakedown cruise. During final acceptance trials that summer, however, her port engine malfunctioned and had to be removed in order to be repaired.
However, by June of 1917, the G-3 was once again ready for service, joining Division Two of the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Flotilla for training and torpedo firing exercises. Like the other G-class subs, she was also a platform for testing various types of new naval warfare technologies. In May of 1918, while patrolling for German U-boats, her engine and battery experienced problems, sending her back to the shipyard. After repairs, she continued with her training duties.
In December of 1920, the G-3 was marked for inactivation. She was decommissioned at New London, Connecticut, on May 5, 1921, and towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Nearly a year later, she was stricken from the Naval Register and sold for scrap.
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.