The transport was slated for participation in the North Africa landings, the giant amphibious assault mounted across the entire width of the Atlantic. Hugh L. Scott joined Transport Division 3 for this, our first offensive move in the European-African theater, and sailed 24 October after intensive amphibious training. She approached the beaches at Fedhala, French Morocco, early on the morning of 8 November and. after bombardment by surface ships, landed her troops. Hugh L. Scott then cleared the immediate invasion area, and did not return until 11 November, when she entered the refueling area and then anchored in the exposed Fedhala roadstead to unload her supplies.
During the evening of 11 November, German submarine U-173 slipped inside the protective screen to torpedo transport Joseph Hewes, tanker Winooski, and destroyer Haniberton. Hugh L. Scott and the other transports went to battle stations the entire night, and resumed unloading the next day. That afternoon, 12 November, another submarine, U-1SO, stalked the transports and torpedoed Hugh L. Scott, Edward Rutledge, and Tasker H. Bliss. Hugh L. Scott, hit on the starboard side, burst into flames and foundered, but owing to the availability of landing craft for rescue, casualties were held to a minimum-8 officers and 51 men. U-17S was later sunk by destroyers, but U-1SO escaped.