USS Hake SS-256 (1942-1972)

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The USS Hake began her first war patrol in April of 1943 after her shakedown cruise. Her first mission was going to be for patrolling for German U-boats in the North Atlantic Ocean, but she did not encounter anything on that first mission and instead she was sent to Scotland before being sent back to the Azores. While on this patrol the ship would encounter several submarines.

Action in World War II

That success would be followed up by a third and fourth patrol that would see her going to the Pacific Ocean. When she reached this ocean, her first attack resulted in damage to several other ships as well as herself, but the next attack that she made resulted in the loss of Japanese ships and no damage to the submarine at all. She then launched from Fremantle for the fourth patrol and ended up sinking several Japanese ships and even entered into some duels with the escort ships of the ships she sank.

During her fifth and sixth patrols she encountered even more Japanese ships that met their fate by way of the torpedoes that the Hake launched. One of the ships that she managed to sink was one that attempted to sink her, a Japanese destroyer; however, she did not manage to sink any of the other destroyers in this battle.

Her subsequent patrols were not as eventful, but she did suffer considerable damage from depth charges. Those depth charges did not succeed at sending her to the bottom and she snuck away from the onslaught. She did have to return to San Francisco to get refitted after her eighth patrol, but she was sent back out into the Pacific to help serve on life guard duty rescuing downed pilots.

After the War

The Hake would remain on the roster as a training ship after the war and remained active in this role until she was sold in 1967. She did receive quite a number of awards for her service and sank a large number of ships during World War II.

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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