The silence of the USS Skate submarine was broken when a nerve-racking noise was suddenly heard. To those aboard, it didn’t sound like either the Klaxon diving alarm or the collision siren. The crew called it “Hell’s Bells.” It was the sound they heard every time the submarine’s experimental sonar picked up a deadly mine in the water.
It sent chills through every crewman’s spine. The Skate and eight other American submarines were treading the heavily mined waters of Tsushima Strait, heading for the Sea of Japan. And their mission was one rooted in vengeance. Two years prior, in October 1943, when the USS Wahoo was patrolling the Sea of Japan, enemy forces attacked and sank it. On it was Dudley W. “Mush” Morton.