Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Robert H. Rice, the USS Paddle enjoyed 7 successful war patrols, for which it was awarded 8 battle stars. It was built in 1942, like most Gato-class submarines, by Electric Boat Company in Connecticut. Because it was laid down during the heyday of asbestos, the toxic mineral lurked on the vessel in the form of wall insulation, as well as in components such as gaskets, boilers and valves. Exposure to asbestos can lead to terrible diseases such as asbestosis and lung cancer, so we strongly encourage veterans who served on the USS Paddle to pay close attention to their health and undergo regular medical examinations to ensure their lungs are in good condition. The submarine was decommissioned in 1957, when it was also transferred to Brazil. It was subsequently sunk as a target in 1968.