USS Icefish SS-367 (1944-1953)
The USS Icefish was built by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin in February of 1944. On February the 20th, the Icefish was sponsored by the wife of Captain Stanley P. Mosley. A few months later, on June the 10th, 1944, Commander Richard W. Peterson commissioned the vessel.
Action in World War II
The Icefish joined the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on August the 22nd. Subsequently, the Icefish joined Vice Admiral Lockwood’s Task Force 17. The Task Force took its first war patrol at the Luzon Straits and continued through to the South China Sea.
October of the year 1944 was the peak month of battle against Japanese vessels. On September the 9th, a total of one third Japanese vessels, which amounted to 322,265 tons, was sent to the bottom of the sea. The USS Icefish and the USS Drum alone destroyed 26,901 tons of enemy vessels in the waters of the extending area across the East China Sea from the Luzon Straits to Formosa.
Afterward, the submarine departed Pearl Harbor for a third war patrol which began February the 20th, in union with the USS Kingfish and the USS Sawfish. This patrol was conducted in the East China Sea and in the east and northeast regions of Formosa. At this time the count of Japanese vessels was minimal due to the enormous amount of damage inflicted by Task Force 17. The third war patrol ended at Apra Harbor, 60 days after its initial launch. The fourth patrol carried out by the Icefish traveled through Formosa, Hainan, Hong Kong, the Java Sea, and the Siam Gulf regions.
The Icefish continued to carry out numerous duties for the U.S. Navy. The USS Icefish rescued six U.S. Army Aviators off of the coast of Formosa. Later on the 4th of July, the Icefish reached Fremantle for refitting performed by the USS Clytie. The Icefish departed Fremantle on July the 29th for its of the fifth war patrol. While en route, the Icefish intercepted a 15 ton diesel vessel. Five enemy crew members were captured, and one Japanese member jumped overboard to avoid capture.
After the War
The Icefish received a four battle star commendation for accomplishments of service in World War II. It was decommissioned at Marie Island on June the 21st 1946 and joined the Reserve Fleet. On December 10th 1952, the Icefish was re-commissioned at Groton, Connecticut and remained in operation until February 21st, 1953. The Icefish now serves as the Walrus S-802 in the Netherlands.
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.