The USS Snapper (SS-185) was laid down in 1936 by Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and launched on 24 August 1937, sponsored by Mrs. Katharine R. Stark, wife of Rear Admiral Harold R. Stark, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, and commissioned on 16 December 1937 with Lieutenant F. O. Johnson in command. It was the third ship of the United States Navy of the name and the second to be named for the snapper. The USS Snapper (SS-185) earned 6 battle stars during World War II. In 1945, the submarine was decommissioned and subsequently sold for scrap.
Veterans that severed on US submarines built before 1980 are being diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases each year. All branches of the US military used asbestos between World War II and the late-1970s because of its fire-retardant properties. Unfortunately, many U.S. Navy veterans were not issued protective equipment, even after the harmful effects of asbestos were well known in the scientific and manufacturing communities.