A coastal and harbor defense submarine, the USS R-12 (SS-89) served the United States Navy for 16 years. The submarine was launched on 15 August 1919 sponsored by Miss Helen Mack, and commissioned at Boston, Massachusetts, on 23 September 1919 with Lieutenant F. J. Cunneen in command. Since it was decommissioned from 1932 to 1940, asbestos insulation could have been added to its walls, which is why we strongly encourage people who were present on this submarine during World War II to undergo a medical examination in order to discover potential asbestos fibers in their lungs. The submarine was permanently decommissioned in 1943 and afterward foundered. Shipbuilders frequently used products containing asbestos in the construction of military ships. On carriers, battleships, carriers, destroyers, submarines and countless other ships and military boats, asbestos was used in more than 300 different materials. Microscopic sharp fibers filled the air inside those ships - asbestos fibers that our servicemen and servicewomen breathed.