USS Hoe SS-258 (1942-1946)
The USS Hoe (SS-258) commenced its career on September 17, 1942. The submarine was built in Groton, Connecticut, and commissioned on December 16, 1942.
Action in World War II
Hoe sailed on April 19th, with Lt. Comdr. B. C. Folger in command. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on May 15th, 1943, and left on her first patrol on May 27th. The vessel patrolled Guam-Palaus and disabled two cargo ships before returning to Pearl Harbor on July 11th. During its next mission, on August 21st, west of Truk, Hoe destroyed a tanker and participated in a search for downed pilots prior to returning to Pearl Harbor on October 18.
The Hoe commenced her third mission on January 26, 1944. She conducted an assault on February 16 and damaged one enemy vessel. On October 26, the submarine sank the tanker Nissho Maru, which carried both freight and passengers. The Hoe returned to Fremantle, Australia, on March 5th for retooling.
The submarine began cruising the South China Sea, a critical enemy supply line, again on April 4th. She conducted assaults on the 17th and the 19th, and scored hits to three cargo vessels. The Hoe returned to Fremantle on June 2nd, 1944. The ship’s fifth mission, in the same zone, was performed between June 23rd and August 23rd, 1944.
On September 15, the vessel began her sixth mission, leading two other ships, the Aspro and the Caorilla, in a joint offensive. The convoy cruised southwest of the Lingayen Gulf and destroyed 38,000 tons of Japanese cargo. On October 8th, the USS Hoe sank the Kohoko Maru before returning to Fremantle on October 22nd. The ship’s seventh patrol was conducted from November 23rd, 1944, until January 3rd, 1945, but the vessel scored no hits.
On February 8, 1945, the submarine sailed toward the South China Sea on its eighth mission. On February 23rd, the Hoe discovered a tanker shadowed by an escort ship and sank the escort vessel Shinan.
After the War
The Hoe returned to the U.S. Hoe entered the New York Harbor on September 29th, 1945. The USS Hoe was decommissioned on August 7th, 1946. She was awarded seven stars for World War II service.
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.