The USS S-23 (SS-128) was a first-group S-class submarine of the United States Navy, laid down on 18 January 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. The USS S-23 was launched one year later. It was sponsored by Miss Barbara Sears, having been commissioned in 1920. Asbestos might have been present in the wall insulation of the submarine, which greatly endangered the health of those who served on the vessel. Following an activity of 22 years, the USS S-23 was decommissioned and subsequently struck from the Naval Vessel Register and sold for scrap. Because of its unique flexibility, strength, insulation, and other properties, asbestos has been used extensively in nearly all components of the vessels built by the U.S. Navy between the 1930s and mid-1970s. Extended exposure to asbestos fibers causes serious illnesses such as are asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, throat cancer, colorectal cancer, bronchial cancer, esophageal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, as well as non-cancerous pleural abnormalities such as pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, benign asbestos pleural effusions, and rounded atelectasis to thousands of veterans.