Dudley Morton file photo [22589]

Dudley Morton

Given NameDudley
Born17 Jul 1907
Died11 Oct 1943
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseLieutenant Commander Dudley "Mush" Morton was a submarine commander who was made into a hero by the American mass media. Under this 1930 Naval Academy graduate's command, his boat, the USS Wahoo, attacked a convoy and sunk two freighters and a transport. The boat then surfaced and machine-gunned the drowning troops who escaped from their sinking transport. In spring 1943, his patrol in the Yellow Sea saw 9 ships sunk, breaking a record for submarines. Morton received a Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross; during his tenure as Wahoo's captain, the boat sunk 19 Japanese cargo and transport ships totaling 55,000 tons.

ww2dbaseUSS Wahoo was reported missing in Oct 1943 near or in the Sea of Japan. Japanese records show that a Japanese aircraft depth-charged and destroyed an American submarine on 11 Oct 1943 near La PĂ©rouse Strait; it was likely USS Wahoo, with Morton onboard.

ww2dbaseIn 1960 Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood wrote about Morton (in the foreword for the book Wake of the Wahoo) "[w]hen a natural leader and born daredevil such as Mush Morton is given command of a submarine, the result can only be a fighting ship of the highest order, with officers and men who would follow their skipper to the Gates of Hell.... And they did."

ww2dbaseForrest Sherman-class destroyer DD-948 was named in Mush Morton's honor in 1959.

Dan van der Vat, Pacific Campaign

Last Major Revision: May 2005

Dudley Morton Timeline

17 Jul 1907 Dudley Morton was born.
11 Oct 1943 Dudley Morton was killed in the sinking of USS Wahoo by Japanese anti-submarine aircraft in La PĂ©rouse Strait between Hokkaido and Karafuto (Sakhalin), Japan.


Portrait of Dudley Morton, date unknownLieutenant Commander Dudley Morton and Lieutenant Richard OLieutenant Commander Dudley Morten (at open bridge) and Lieutenant Richard OLieutenant Commander Dudley Morton and Lieutenant Richard O
See all 6 photographs of Dudley Morton

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. GL Summers says:
19 Jul 2005 04:27:21 PM

American policy during the Pacific naval war prohibited
the killing of helpless soldiers, but where they were sure to be rescued and put back into combat, as was the case at Empress Augusta Bay, it was sanctioned. Morton did what he had to do, as did the various aircraft that attacked survivors in the water. The Japanese defined the nature of the war very early on by refusing to treat prisoners according to international law, murdering them by the thousands at Bataan and showing no mercy at all to any of those they conquered. It was a nasty war and we must all learn from the atrocities committed by all sides. GLS

2. Anonymous says:
16 Feb 2014 07:20:54 AM

He should be tried for felonies war. He shot at Japanese soldiers saving themselves after sinking a cargo ship. He killed of them from the machine-made weapon. It is a war crime.
3. mike walsh says:
17 Jul 2017 08:17:14 AM

After boot camp I traveled to San Francisco. The Wahoo pulled into Mare Is., I believe for a n overhaul. Two of our group were chosen as crew members, none of them served in a relief crew. We met both at Pearl Harbor after the patrol. One got off to attend a srvice school and the other was lost on that fateful patrol

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Portrait of Dudley Morton, date unknown
See all 6 photographs of Dudley Morton

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