The first USS Queenfish was laid down in 1943 and launched the same year. However, it would take until March of 1944 before she received her commission. She took a shakedown cruise off the coast and received even more extensive training in the Hawaiian waters.
Action in World War II
She was sent out in late 1944 for her first war patrol and made her first kill that same month on a tanker. She took on and sank two more cargo ships before she went to Majuro for a refit in October of 1944. The Queenfish had a second war patrol in the Northern portion of the East China Sea. She sank two ships on one day and sent two more ships to the bottom of the sea before this patrol ended. She conducted her third patrol from December to January of 1944-1945. However, this did not bring the same success as earlier patrols, and she sank no ships during this time.
The Queenfish did destroy an enemy ship during her fourth patrol. Unfortunately, this vessel was a guaranteed safe ship for the Red Cross that was sending supplies to the Japanese POWs. She rescued another crew of a Navy flying boat on this patrol as well. She her fifth patrol ended at Midway, but she spent many days on lifeguard duty before reaching this point. While at Midway she prepared to head back to sea, but never shipped out because the war came to a close.
After the War
She assumed the flagship role of the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force based out of Pearl Harbor. She would even spend time in the Far East during 1946 and 1949. However, she returned to the Eastern Pacific in a training operations role after operating for a time in the Bering Sea. She also played a role in the combined operations of U.S. Pacific and British Naval Fleets. She took cruises into Korean waters in 1951 and 1953. She returned a new port, San Diego, in 1954 and spent the next four years off of the West Coast of the United States. She continued this role for several years before being sold in 1963 for scrap.
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.