USS Redfish SS-395 (1944-1968)

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The Redfish (SS 395) was put to sea by Portsmouth Navy Yard of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on September 9, 1943. She was launched January 27, 1944, and commissioned April 12, with Comdr. Louis D. McGregor in charge.

Action in World War II

On June 27th, 1944, Redfish arrived at Pearl Harbor, departing on July 23rd. On the 25th of August, the Redfish sank a 5,953 ton Japanese ship, the Batopaha Maru. On September 2nd she took down the 7,311 ton tanker Ogura Maru No. 2, and on September 21st, the 8,506 ton Mizuho Maru. All three of these vessels were sunk off the Formosa coast.

Arriving at Midway on the 2nd of October and departing on the 3rd of November, she then sunk the 2,345 ton Japanese transport Hozan Maru on the night of November 22. On December 1, she departed Saipan. On December 8th she met with the submarine Sea Devil (SS-400). Together they inflicted disabling damage on the Japanese carrier Hyataka, putting that ship out of commission for the rest of the war.

On the 19th of December, the Redfish sank the new, 18,500 ton Unryu, a Japanese aircraft carrier headed to Mindoro. The Redfish rose to the surface after a 232 foot dive, where she had to race to escape Japanese pursuers.  On February 17, 1945, the Redfish came in to port for repairs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. On the 23rd of July, she returned to Pearl Harbor, remaining there until the end of the war.

After the War

After several more peacetime patrols in the Pacific, the Redfish appeared in Walt Disney’s production of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. She made another appearance in the film Run Silent, Run Deep, filmed in September 1957.  The Redfish was classified AGSS on July 1, 1960. From March 26 to September 26, she was launched from San Diego for duty in the western Pacific. After that, until mid 1968, she conducted training cruises to the western Pacific. She was decommissioned June 27th, 1968 at San Diego. On June 30th she was sunk as a target.

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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