The keel of the USS Narwhal was laid down by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1927. It was a submarine belonging to the V-boats category, a series of 9 vessels built by the U.S. Navy between World War I and World War II. The submarine was sponsored by Mrs. Frances Adams, wife of Charles F. Adams, Secretary of the Navy, and initially had Lieutenant Commander John H. Brown, Jr. in command. For the extraordinary achievements of the crew of the USS Narwhal, the submarine was the recipient of several awards, such as the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. The issue of asbestos exposure aboard the USS Narwhal was very serious, as this carcinogenic mineral was present in large amounts on the submarine, which greatly endangered the health of military personnel. Occurring by inhalation and ingestion, exposure to asbestos may result in terrible diseases over the years, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. For this reason, veterans who served aboard this submarine should pay close attention to their health and seek medical attention as soon as they notice unusual symptoms. In 1945, the submarine was sold for breaking up.