While on patrol station Skill suffered a catastrophic explosion in her forward magazine. This was probably due to a submarine's torpedo because a survivor, whose station was on the bridge, later reported having seen a wake of undetermined origin paralleling the ship at a distance of about 150 yards. Skill was blown in half and the forward section capsized. The after half caught fire, and the flames moved aft until that section exploded and sank. Ten minutes later the capsized bow slipped beneath the waves. Of her 103 officers and men, none of the officers and only 32 of the men survived..