On the evening of 5 February 1942 USS Trout (SS 202) surfaced after spending the day submerged in Manilla Bay. Two days earlier she had arrived and unloaded a much-needed supply of anti-aircraft ammunition at Fort Drum in the Bay. Then, on the 4th in need of Ballast to replace the weight of the ammunition the Trout’s all-hands party loaded ballast as they would stores, except this unusual ballast consisted of more than 10 million dollars-worth of gold bullion and bags of silver coins belonging to the Philippine Treasury (10 million of 1942 dollars). Clearing the mine field on the evening of the 5th Trout made way for the nearest War Patrol area and successfully sank two Japanese ships before receiving a message that referenced her “Ballast” and ordered a direct return to Pearl.
© Gregg Smith
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