As the lead ship of this class of submarines, the USS O-1 was built in 1917 by Portsmouth Navy Yard and was commissioned one year later. The O-class submarines were designed to meet the criteria of the U.S. Navy for coastal defense boats. The USS O-1 had a length of 172 feet 3 inches, a beam of 18 feet 1 inch, and a mean draft of 14 feet 5 inches. This class of submarines usually had 29 officers and enlisted men aboard. The USS O-1 was commissioned just before the Armistice with Germany and had Lieutenant Commander Norman L. Kirk in command. It served in the Atlantic coastal waters from Cape Cod to Key West, Florida after World War I. Because it was laid down when asbestos was beginning to gain popularity as a building material, the carcinogenic mineral was inevitably present on the USS O-1, which greatly endangered the health of the military personnel serving aboard it. By inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers, the risk of developing terrible diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma increases considerably, which is why people who were present on the USS O-1 need to keep a close eye on their health. In 1938, the submarine was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register and was eventually sold for scrap.