Laid down by Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Massachusetts, the USS O-8 was launched on 31 December 1917 sponsored by Mrs. Alice C. Burg and commissioned on 11 July 1918 with Lieutenant Commander R.A. Burg in command. While it was not initially built with asbestos, it might have contained the carcinogenic mineral from 1941 onwards, as the submarine was decommissioned for some time. The submarine was eventually decommissioned in 1945. Many Navy veterans who were exposed to asbestos between World War II and the 1970s are only in recent years being diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Although mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, it often takes decades before symptoms of the disease manifest. Many of the Navy veterans that were exposed to asbestos during service don’t know that they may be entitled to large cash awards from the asbestos trust funds.