The keel of the USS S-4 was laid down by Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1917 and the submarine was sponsored by Mrs. Herbert S. Howard. In 1920, it visited Havana, Cuba for several days following acceptance trials and subsequently departed New London, Connecticut to rendezvous off New Hampshire with Submarine Division 12 and Submarine Division 18. These two divisions were to embark on a historic voyage that would be the longest cruise undertaken by U.S. submarines at that time. Because the submarine was built with asbestos, a harmful mineral whose inhalation or ingestion can result in the development of awful diseases such as lung cancer, the military personnel who were aboard the USS S-4 should keep a close eye on their health, since they are at high risk of coming to struggle with a serious disease. For the early diagnosis of potential disease, regular medical examinations are recommended. It is worthy of note that exposure to asbestos will result in disease within 20 to 50 years. In 1927, the USS S-4 was sunk by being accidentally rammed by a Coast Guard destroyer but was raised and restored to service until 1936, when it was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.