On 23 November, I-175 arrived off Makin. The temporary task group, built around Rear Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix three escorts - Liscome Bay, Coral Sea and Corregidor - was steaming 20 miles southwest of Butaritari Island at 15 knots. At 0430 on 24 November, reveille was made in Liscome Bay. The ship went to routine general quarters at 0505 as flight crews prepared their planes for dawn launchings.
There was no warning of a submarine in the area until about 0510 when a lookout shouted: "Here comes a torpedo!" The torpedo struck abaft the after engine room and hit the aircraft bomb stockpile, causing a major explosion engulfing the entire vessel and sending shrapnel out 5,000 yards. "It didn't look like a ship at all", wrote Lieutenant John C. W. Dix, communications officer on Hoel, "We thought it was an ammunition dump....She just went whoom -- an orange ball of flame."
At 0533, Liscome Bay listed to starboard and sank, carrying 53 officers and 591 enlisted men -- including Admiral Mullinix, Captain Wiltsie, and famous Pearl Harbor survivor Cook Third Class Doris Miller, down with her. Only 272 of her crew of 916 were rescued by Morris, Hughes and Hull.
Counting the sailors who went down with the carrier, American casualties of the assault on Makin exceeded the strength of the entire Japanese garrison of that island. Future legal scholar Robert Keeton, then a Navy lieutenant, survived the attack.