As the oldest submarine of the Gato-class, the USS Drum was laid down in 1940 by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. It was commissioned one year later and earned 12 battle stars for World War II service, as well as sunk 15 enemy vessels. Today, the submarine can be seen at the Battleship Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. Despite the successful activity of the USS Drum, asbestos was present on the submarine, mostly in the wall insulation, which meant a great health hazard for the people present on it. Asbestos exposure can lead to multiple debilitating illnesses, including mesothelioma, a very aggressive cancer of the lungs. The submarine was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1968.