.The USS Seadragon submarine earned 11 Battle Stars for her service during World War II. She was propelled by (4) 9-cylinder diesel engines, (2) 126-cell batteries, (4) high-speed electric motors, and (2) shafts. She could reach 20 knots per hour on the surface and 9 when submerged. Her complement was 59 men, and her armament consisted of eight 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes, one 3-inch /50 caliber deck gun and four machine guns. Seadragon was 311 feet long and could endure 48 hours underwater at 2 knots per hour, at a maximum depth of 250 feet.

Seadragon certainly faced more than her share of perilous situations, and she consistently pulled through in a manner befitting a well-trained and able crew. The majority of her problems came from enemy attack; there is nothing noted on record of her experiencing any onboard mishap or accidents. She is very fortunate that the attacks did not start fires. Everyone on vessels knows that the failure to contain a blaze can mean death for all aboard.  That is why the Navy went to great efforts to provide its warships with the best known fire prevention devices known during the 1940’s, including, in all likelihood, a large amount of asbestos. Included with standard insulation, asbestos offered the benefits of excellent control of heat, flames, fire and electricity, in any small or tight space, without adding any extra weight to the ship. Yet, during the attack of a ship, or from normal wear and tear, the asbestos sealant may have become damaged. If so, microscopic asbestos fibers may have escaped and floated into the ship’s air system. Recycled circulation may have caused anyone on board to inhale or swallow the fibers. Asbestos rarely can escape from human tissue, so fibers may have remained in sailor’s bodies these many decades.

With the long latency period of asbestos conditions, only now are diseases being diagnosed from exposure that took place 40 or 50 years ago. It is therefore very important that any crew member of the USS Seadragon see their doctor if they experience unusual physical symptoms, and then contact us for additional information at The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center.

USS Seadragon SS194
Asbestos Article