The USS Sea Fox SS 402 was launched March 28th, 1944; she was built at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Commander Roy C. Klinker was in charge of the submarine, and she was backed by Mrs. Robert N. Robertson.
Action in World War II
The Sea Fox left New London and was placed in the Submarine Division located in Hawaii. Her first guard was on October 4th, 1944, when she spent her time stalking the enemy’s fleet. The submarine was also on hand during Iwo Jima. The Sea Fox’s first strike was against the adversary’s freighter, and she was able to cause damage to the vessel.
The submarine’s second patrol lasted from December 20th until February of 1945, and during this mission she was a part of a group that included the Blueback and the Puffer. On the way to Saipan to refuel, the group rescued survivors of a ship that sunk. Unfortunately the submarine failed to down her target during the mission. Luckily the Puffer was able to complete the attack against the Coast Defense Vessel No. 42.
The Sea Fox took a third mission on March 8th, when she was sent to South China. The submarine made six attacks, but unfortunately was only able to conclude one. The Sea Fox made her last war mission on June 7th; the submarine was appointed to the job of lifeguard. She was out for 53 days and was able to rescue ten Army aviators. Her mission was finished on July 29th, soon after that the war ended. The submarine was overhauled and was sent to the Philippines for her postwar job.
After the War
For the rest of the 1940’s, the submarine was implemented three times. She went to the central Pacific in 1946, and the western Pacific in 1948 and 1949. When fighting occurred in Korea, the Sea Fox’s military training was augmented, and this included gunnery, mine embedding, and torpedo tactics. By November 1970, the Sea Fox was confirmed to be in poor condition; she then was removed from duty. She was honored with four battle stars for her efforts throughout World War II and received four campaign stars for her assistance with the Vietnam War.
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.