Lost at Sea
After completing her outfitting and commissioning trials, Dorado departed New London on 6 October 1943 for Panama. Dorado, with her crew of 76 men, was never heard from again. A Court of Inquiry convened to determine the cause of her loss was unable to reach a definite conclusion. It cited three possibilities - operating casualty, enemy action, or attack by friendly forces, with the latter having the highest probability due to the following circumstances. As was common with all unescorted wartime submarine movements, COMSUBLANT had advised all Atlantic ASW forces of her projected track, and the coordinates of a â€œmoving havenâ€ based on her PIM (Position of Intended Movement). No attacks on any submarine within fifteen miles either side of the PIM, or fifty miles ahead and one hundred miles astern were allowed. Unfortunately, a patrol plane operating out of NOB Guantanamo received faulty information on Dorado's track and, at 8:49 PM on 12 October 1943, delivered a surprise attack with three depth charges on an unidentified submarine. The attack occurred within the moving haven. The Court noted that the plane sighted another submarine about two hours later and attempted to exchange recognition signals. This submarine fired on the plane. A German submarine was known to be operating near the scene of the two contacts. Total casualty list of 76 based on data in ComSubPac archives.