On 8 February 1944, USS TROUT (SS-202), fresh from an overhaul, departed Pearl Harbor on her eleventh war patrol. She filled her fuel tanks at Midway eight days later and then headed for the East China Sea. She never returned home.
Japanese records examined after the war’s end indicate that on 29 February, a convoy of seven Japanese ships—four troop transports packed with soldiers on their way to Guam and three destroyer escorts—was attacked by an American submarine. One of the transports was sunk, a second seriously damaged. Not long after, Asashimo, one of the destroyers, detected the sub and loosed nineteen depth charges; when oil bubbled up to the surface, the ship dropped a final depth charge in the middle of the slick. It is likely that the target of this attack—the boat that had just sent a gigantic transport and an entire regiment of soldiers to the bottom—was TROUT, the only sub known to be operating in that area at the time.
TROUT, the recipient of eleven battle stars and three Presidential Unit Citations, took 81 men down with her. Two of those lost were the C.O., Lieutenant Commander Albert Clark, and the X.O., Harry Eades Woodworth, both of whom had been with the boat since before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.