USS Haddo SS-255 (1942-1956)
The USS Haddo was the first to be named after the haddo, a pink salmon fish native to the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada. A gato-class submarine, she was launched on June 21, 1942. The USS Haddo was sponsored by Mrs. Charles F. Russell and commissioned on October 9, 1942 with Lieutenant Commander Wallace L. “Pilly” Lent in command.
Haddo departed to patrol the shipping lanes to Rosneath, Scotland on April 9, 1943. She arrived on the thirtieth and joined other submarine Squardrom 50 which was assigned to patrol off Norway and Iceland in case of a breakthrough of the German fleet from Norway. It became obvious that targets were scarce in this region after three patrols so Haddo and her fellow submarines were sent back to the US.
She returned to her home port in New London in July of 1943 and headed toward Mare Island, California. There she was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and put to sea December 14 on her fourth war patrol in the Philippines. Again, there were little targets and the patrol was terminated in Australia in February 1944.
On her fifth war patrol in the waters off Borneo, Java and Indochina, two torpedoes exploded prematurely which was a disappointing attack. She then made an attack on a tanker and escort on March 14 with unconfirmed results. On the Indochina coast she sank a small craft with gunfire and damaged a freighter on March 29 before returning to Fremantle on April 22 1944.
On her sixth war patrol she set for the East Indies where she attacked and evaded small crafts before returning to Fremantle. On Her seventh patrol she joined a coordinated attack group with five other subs in the Philippines. During an attack she launched six torpedoes at three targets and dived to avoid air attacks. She sunk cargo ships kinryu Maru and Norfolk Maru. After a few more attacks and the subsequent sinking of more enemy ships, she returned back to Fremantle on October 3, 1944. For these outstanding attacks she received the Navy Unit Commendation.
Her eighth, ninth and tenth patrol consisted of her sailing in the waters of Manila, the Yellow Seas and Tokyo Bay, respectively. With the eighth and ninth patrols she sunk enemy ships and on the tenth patrol she witnessed the signing of the surrender on board the battleship Missouri. After the surrender she headed for home.
She was decommissioned in February of 1956 and was stricken from the Navy List on August 1, 1958. In April of 1959 she was sold for scrap to Luria Brothers and Co. Along with the Navy Unit Commendation, she received six battle starts for her World War II service.
Asbestos and 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.