With 9 battle stars for World War II service, the USS Balao was built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1942, like the majority of Gato-class submarines. In 1963, after having completed 10 war patrols, the submarine was found to be unfit for further service and was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register during the same day. The conning tower and periscope shears can be seen nowadays on the waterfront at the National Museum of the United States Navy of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. However, the hulk was sunk off the coast of Northern Florida as a target. Despite the glorious days of the USS Balao, there was a danger lurking onboard - asbestos. Exposure to this carcinogen can cause diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, which are often terminal. Consequently, we strongly advise everyone who served on the USS Balao to undergo periodical medical examinations to ensure their lungs are still in good condition.