USS T-1 SS-52/SF-1 (AA-1)

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USS T-1 SS-52/SF-1 was an AA-1 class submarine that was also known as Schley and AA-1. The AA-1 class submarines were a class consisting of three experimental subs built toward the end of World War I. She was first laid down under the name USS Schley in June of 1916 at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company yard located in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was renamed AA-1 on August 23, 1917 in order to free up the name Schley for another vessel. Her launching in Quincy was overseen by the Electric Boat Company headed out of New York. She was commissioned on January 30, 1920 at Boston, Massachusetts with Lieutenant Commander James Parker Jr. in command.

Design and Reclassification

AA-1 was one of three total subs designed and constructed with the aim of developing fleet submarines. The goal of fleet submarines was to assemble a vessel that acted as an undersea boat, possessing both sea-keeping qualities and the endurance necessary to operate across long ranges. They were also intended to operate as scouts for the surface fleet.  As the sub was being fitted-out the Navy adopted its modern system of alpha-numeric hull numbers, thus designating this sub as SF-1, eventually being renamed T-1 in lieu of AA-1. When she began active service in the fall of 1920 the sub was officially known as T-1 (SF-1).


T-1’s commissioned service was fairly short, lasting less than three years. As part of the Atlantic Fleet, T-1 operated out of Hampton Roads, Virginia helping to train crews, as well as conducting maneuvers along the east coast with other units in her fleet. She remained a unit of Submarine Division 15 throughout her service career. Consequently, the design and construction flaws of T-1, namely those of her propulsion plant, led to her short tenure.


Due to the flaws surrounding T-1 she was decommissioned on December 5, 1922 when she was laid up at the Submarine Base, Hampton Roads, Virginia. She was eventually moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she remained inactive for eight years. Her name was struck from the Navy Vessel Register on September 19, 1930, after which her hulk was broken up and the materials sold 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.


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