As the first boat to carry this name, the USS Argonaut was built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1925. Even though it was never officially designated as SS-166, the submarine displayed this number on the conning tower at a certain point. The USS Argonaut was sponsored by Mrs. Philip Mason Sears, the daughter of Rear Admiral William D. MacDougall, and initially had Lieutenant Commander William M. Quigley in command. In honor of the outstanding achievements of the crew of this submarine, the vessel earned several awards, such as the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 battle stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that is carcinogenic to humans, was present in large amounts on the USS Argonaut, as it was a very common building material during the last century. Exposure to asbestos, which occurs by inhalation and ingestion, has a strong causal relation with serious diseases such as lung cancer, which is why veterans who were aboard this submarine need to keep a close eye on their health. In 1943, the submarine was sunk by Japanese destroyers off Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.