The USS Flounder (SS-251) was built in 1942 by the Electric Boat Company in Connecticut. It participated in World War II and earned 2 battle stars, as well as sunk 2,681 tons of Japanese shipping. It was commissioned one year later under the command of Commander C. A. Johnson. Because it was laid down during the heyday of asbestos, the carcinogen was present on the vessel mostly in the form of wall insulation. In 1959, the submarine was struck from the Naval Vessel Register and later sold for scrapping.
Despite clear evidence that manufacturers and insurance companies have been aware of the dangers of asbestos since at least the 1930s, asbestos was still used widely throughout the United States from the 1900s through the late 1980s. Most of the asbestos used in the US Navy has since been removed, but thousands of veterans were still exposed to this deadly material for years due to the negligence of large corporations.