As the fifth U.S. Navy ship to bear this name, the submarine was the lead ship of its class. It was laid down by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1933, sponsored by Miss Eva Croft, and initially had Lieutenant Commander Stuart S. Murray in command. Following shakedown, the USS Porpoise sailed to the Panama Canal, where it joined the Pacific Fleet in San Diego in 1936. The submarine also participated in World War II, activity for which it earned 5 battle stars. Asbestos, a highly carcinogenic naturally occurring mineral, was present aboard the USS Porpoise in large amounts, which is why numerous veterans struggle with diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma today. Exposure to asbestos, which occurs when one inhales or ingests the microscopic fibers of this mineral, is correlated with a wide range of diseases that develop within 20 to 50 years after contact with asbestos. Thereby, veterans who served on the USS Porpoise need to keep a close eye on their health and seek medical attention as soon as they notice bothersome symptoms. In 1957, the submarine was sold for scrap.