USS Trout (SS-202)
Trout was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the trout, any of certain small, fresh-water fishes, highly esteemed by anglers for their gameness, their rich and finely flavored flesh and their handsome (usually mottled or speckled) coloration. Her keel was laid down on 28 August 1939 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 21 May 1940 sponsored by Mrs. Walter B. Woodson, and commissioned on 15 November 1940 with Lieutenant Commander Frank Wesley "Mike" Fenno, Jr., as captain.
On 2 July 1941, following "shakedown" operations along the east coast, Trout and sister ship Triton (SS-201) departed New York City, bound for the Pacific. After transiting the Panama Canal and stopping at San Diego, California, the submarines arrived at Pearl Harbor on 4 August 1941.
Trout conducted training operations with Submarine Division 62 until 29 November when she stood out of Pearl Harbor to conduct a simulated war patrol off Midway Island.
2nd patrol ? to the Philippines
On 12 January 1942, Trout stood out of Pearl Harbor with 3500 rounds of 3" AAA ammunition to be delivered to the besieged American forces on Corregidor. She topped off with fuel at Midway Island on 16 January and continued westward. On 27 January, near the Bonin Islands, she sighted a light off her port bow, closed to 1,500 yards (1,400 m) of the vessel, and fired a stern torpedo which missed. She closed to 600 yards (550 m), discovered that her target was a submarine chaser, and, as she had been warned to avoid small ships, resumed her course for the Philippines. On 3 February, Trout rendezvoused with PT-34 off Corregidor and was escorted to its South Dock.
At Pearl Harbor in early March 1942, unloading gold bars which she had evacuated from Corregidor.
Trout unloaded her ammunition cargo, refueled, loaded two torpedoes, and requested additional ballast. Since neither sandbags nor sacks of concrete were available, she was given 20 tons of gold bars and silver pesos to be evacuated from the Philippines. The specie came from twelve Philippine banks emptied of their assets, absent the paper money, all of which had been burned to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands. She also loaded securities, mail, and United States Department of State dispatches before submerging shortly before daybreak to wait at the bottom in Manila Bay until the return of darkness. That evening, the submarine loaded more mail and securities before she was escorted through the minefields out to open water. Trout set a course for the East China Sea which she entered on 10 February.
That afternoon, Trout launched a torpedo at a freighter from a range of 2,000 yards (1,800 m) but missed. The submarine then closed the target before firing two more which both hit the freighter. Approximately 25 minutes later, her sonar heard four explosions that were the boilers of Chuwa Maru blowing up as she sank. That evening, Trout was returning through the Bonin Islands when she sighted a light. She changed course, closed the range to 3,000 yards (2,700 m), and launched two torpedoes at the ship. Both missed. In the time that lapsed between firing the first and the second torpedo, an enemy torpedo passed down Trout?s port side. As the submarine went to 120 feet (37 m), another torpedo passed overhead. Trout came up to periscope depth and fired a third torpedo at the target and blew it up. Sound picked up another ship running at full speed, but there was no opportunity to attack it. Trout was credited with sinking a small patrol ship of approximately 200 tons. When she reached Pearl Harbor on 3 March 1942, the submarine transferred her valuable ballast to the cruiser Detroit.
Trout received a Presidential Unit Citation for this patrol. Commander Fenno received the Navy Cross and Army Distinguished Service Cross, and all crew members were awarded the Army Silver Star.
The last patrol
On 8 February 1944, the submarine began her 11th and final war patrol. Trout topped off with fuel at Midway Island and, on 16 February, headed via a great circle route toward the East China Sea.
Japanese records examined after the war indicate that one of their convoys, Matsu No. 1, was attacked by a submarine on 29 February 1944 in the patrol area assigned to Trout. Carrying the 29th Infantry Division of the Kwantung Army from Manchuria to Guam, Matsu No. 1 consisted of four large transports escorted by three Yugumo-class destroyers of Destroyer Division 31: Asashimo, Kishinami, and Okinami. The submarine badly damaged one large passenger-cargo ship and sank the 7,126-ton transport Sakito Maru, which was carrying the Japanese 18th Infantry Regiment. Asashimo detected the submarine and dropped 19 depth charges. Oil and debris came to the surface and the destroyer dropped a final depth charge on that spot, at the position 22°40′N 131°45′E / 22.667°N 131.75°E / 22.667; 131.75Coordinates: 22°40′N 131°45′E / 22.667°N 131.75°E / 22.667; 131.75. The submarine was using Mk. XVIII electric torpedoes, and it was also possible that one of those had made a circular run and sunk the boat, as happened with Tang.
On 17 April 1944, Trout was declared presumed lost with all 81 hands, including Commander Clark and his executive officer, Lt. Harry Eades Woodworth, both of whom had made all 11 war patrols.