Shooting Down the Throat: Mush Morton and the USS Wahoo – Part 3

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A Japanese destroyer had come upon Morton and the Wahoo and he had fired a “fan” of four torpedoes. The destroyer turned into them, “combed the tracks,” and all the torpedoes missed. Continuing her turn, the destroyer came pounding down the straight line which would take her to the apex of the fan, which is where the US submarine had to be and obviously was, since the periscope was sticking up out of the water.

Morton didn’t flinch. “Keep your scope up and we’ll shoot that SOB down the throat,” he said. The USS Wahoo had only two torpedoes left. Given the relative position of the two vessels, Morton would only have a thirty second window to fire his torpedoes. With the destroyer charging him, he and his fire team waited until the right moment. “Fire one!”

[Sources: Execute Against Japan: The US Decision to Conduct Unrestricted Submarine Warfare by Lt. Joel Ira Holwitt, USN and Wahoo: The Patrols of America’s Most Famous World War II Submarine by Richard H. O’Kane (three stars).]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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