A WWII Submarine Finally Comes Home

ByABC News
November 21, 2006, 1:54 PM

TROUT RUN, Pa., Nov. 21, 2006 — -- This story is about a submarine, but perhaps it is best to begin it in the hills of central Pennsylvania.

When Bobby Logue was a boy in the 1930s, he loved to go hunting here, in woods his family had owned for half a century.

"He was a great athlete, a hunter, a fisherman, and when I was a little kid I used to go fishing with him," said his younger brother George, now 79. "He was going to be a great engineer."

But the Depression was at its deepest when Bobby finished high school in 1938. He joined the Navy and, after Pearl Harbor, was assigned to the crew of a submarine.

Its name: the USS Wahoo.

The Wahoo's early maneuvers in the Pacific were considered unremarkable, but then it was assigned a new skipper -- a charismatic, aggressive young man named Dudley W. Morton. The men who served under him called him "Mush," and, apparently without exception, they loved him.

"My father took over the sub in 1942," said his son Doug, who now lives in Colorado, "and he got the crew together, and he said to them, 'We are not going to sit around. We are going to go out and kill 'em. And in so doing, we might, you might be killed.'"

Morton offered his crew the option of reassignment, no questions asked. "And not one person left. They absolutely adored him."

The Wahoo became one of the most-celebrated submarines of World War II. In a year and a half, Morton's crew sank at least 19 Japanese ships -- more than any other submarine of the time.

The U.S. Navy, breaking with its usual wartime secrecy, allowed newspaper stories about the Wahoo's exploits. A movie was made, "Destination Tokyo," with Cary Grant as the captain of a fictional submarine that steals into Tokyo harbor. Mush Morton was technical adviser, and people who saw the film said Grant's character was modeled after him.

In September 1943, the Wahoo set out from Midway Island on its seventh mission. The sixth had been unsuccessful; there were problems with the torpedoes. Now the sub was equipped with the Navy's newest torpedo model. Bobby Logue, who had been due for reassignment, was asked to stay on with the crew.