USS Mapiro SS-376 (1944-1960)
The USS Mapiro SS 376 was laid down on May 30, 1944. This means that the keel’s first parts were put on the slipway where the ship was being built. The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company was responsible for the construction. On November 9, 1944, the USS Mapiro SS 376 was ready to be launched. On April 30, 1945, the new submarine was ready to be commissioned and sent out on trial runs. She began trials on Lake Michigan under the command of Vincent A. Sisler. The ship was then towed to New Orleans, Louisiana, in order to prepare for duty.
Action in World War II
On May 31, 1945, the Mapiro set out for the Panama Canal Zone and arrived in Balboa, Panama, on June 5, 1945. There the ship began training. On June 28, 1945, the Mapiro began its journey to Hawaii and arrived on July 15, 1945 in Pearl Harbor.
Finally on August 4, 1945 the Mapiro began its first patrol. It headed towards the Marianas, getting to Saipan just in time for the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. She was then placed on observation patrol and remained on patrol until later that year. On September 25, 1945, the Mapiro arrived in San Francisco and was then deactivated. On March 16, 1946, she was decommissioned.
After the War
On January 1, 1947, the USS Mapiro became part of the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Mare Island, California. In 1960, she was transformed to a Fleet Snorkel submarine. On March 18, 1960, the Military Assistance Program relocated the Mapiro to the Turkish Navy. On May 16, the USS Mapiro headed for Istanbul from San Francisco. The ship entered Golcuk on June 23, 1960. Turkey renamed the ship TCG Piri Reis, and she remained in the care of the Turkish Navy and was eventually sold to Turkey on August 1, 1973. That same day, the Mapiro was finally removed from the US Naval Register. The USS Mapiro, also known as the TCG Piri Reis, was discarded by the Turkish Navy in 1973.
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.