USS Trout SS-566 (1951-1978)
A Tang-class submarine, this vessel was the second to be named for this variety of fish. Laid down by the Electric Boat Co. and launched on August 21, 1951, the Trout was sponsored by Mrs. Albert H. Clark, the widow of Lt. Comdr. Albert H. Clark, the last commanding officer of Trout SS-202. She was commissioned on June 21, 1952 and commanded by Comdr. George W. Kittredge.
The Trout operated out of New London from 1952 until 1959 as a member of Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 10. Her duties during this period included conducting training and readiness operations with other fleet ships and NATO nations. During this time, she operated from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean Sea. She participated in ASW exercises, sonar evaluation tests and submerged simulated attack exercises. On a submerged exercise in polar waters, she set a distance record for conventionally submerged submarines when she traveled 268 miles beneath Newfoundland ice.
August 1959 saw her home port change to Charleston, South Carolina, where she also saw reassignment with SubRon 4. That September saw her take her first deployment to the Mediterranean. She was in the company of the 6th Fleet. When this operation ended four months later, she represented the United States at Bergen, Norway during the 50th anniversary celebration to commemorate the Norwegian Navy’s birth.
February 1960 saw the Trout’s service as a test bed for Bureau of Ships shock tests. In 1961, she won her first Battle Efficiency “E” award and in 1963, she served the Operational Test and Evaluation Force. She then underwent a six-month overhaul at Charleston in July 1963. During the rest of the 1960s, Trout made three more Mediterranean deployments, interspersed with training and developmental exercises off the east coast and Caribbean.
July 1970 saw her re-assignment to the Pacific Fleet, with San Diego serving as her home port. In 1972 and 1975, she made two Western Pacific (WestPac) deployments to primarily provide submarine services during ASW exercises conducted by warships of the United States, South Korean, or Nationalist Chinese navies. Between her WestPac deployments, the Trout took part in other antisubmarine warfare exercises and conducted local operations off the southern California operating areas. She ended her service with weapons testing out of Puget Sound.
On December 1, 1976, the Trout was re-assigned home ports, switching to Philadelphia. She was then decommissioned and struck from the Navy List on December 19, 1978 after undergoing extensive overhaul in preparation to her transfer to the Imperial Iranian Navy. However, the Iranian Revolution prevented the complete transfer of the vessel to that nation, and it was not until 1992 when she was officially returned to U.S. custody.
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.