Built by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, the USS Sawfish (SS-276) was laid down on 20 January; launched on 23 June 1942; sponsored by Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first woman to be elected to the United States Senate; and commissioned on 26 August 1942, Lieutenant Commander Eugene T. Sands in command. The submarine conducted 10 war patrols and was awarded 8 battle stars for World War II service.
Since it was laid down during the heyday of asbestos, the carcinogenic mineral was present on the USS Sawfish as well. Some of the materials and components in which asbestos was lurking were insulation, valves, gaskets, and boilers. By inhaling asbestos fibers, regardless of the severity or duration of exposure, you are at high risk of developing a terrible disease such as lung cancer, asbestosis, or mesothelioma. We highly recommend veterans who served on this submarine take special care of their health and undergo regular medical examinations to make sure asbestos has not affected their lungs.