Air Attack in La Perouse Strait
Under the command of CDR Dudley Morton, one of the finest of the Pacific skippers, assisted by his equally talented executive officer, Richard O'Kane, Wahoo became one of the Submarine Force's most valuable units. During her many engagements on seven patrols, she sank a JANAC-confirmed total of 20 ships for 60,200 tons, and damaged two more for 24,900 tons. On her third patrol, the first under Morton and O'Kane, Wahoo destroyed an entire convoy of four ships in a single engagement. On her return to Pearl Harbor, Morton was advised that the Japanese believed that a wolfpack was operating in the area. Wahoo and Morton became submarine legends in their own time. On her seventh patrol, Morton requested permission, which was granted, to operate in the Sea of Japan. JANAC confirmed four ships were sunk in this area by Wahoo prior to her scheduled departure through La Perouse Strait on 11 October. Nothing further was heard from Morton and his 79 crewmen after that date. Japanese records note an ASW aircraft attack on a surfaced submarine in the Strait on 11October, with three depth charges dropped close aboard. This attack was undoubtedly the cause of Wahoo's loss.