After evading two attacking Chidori patrol boats, the skipper of Seahorse brought the submarine around to follow the Japanese escorts back to the convoy they had been assigned to protect. Seahorse did an end around and positioned herself in front of the sizable convoy coming out of Nagasaki. With darkness her only shield, the sub charged headlong into the enemy formation and opened fire with a spread of three torpedoes, striking Yawata Maru on a "ninety track." The hapless Japanese ship was cut in two and each half disappeared within minutes.
"Whataman" proved an apt nickname for someone who kicked the winning field goal against Army and went on to sink 19 enemy vessels during World War II.
This was the first of many attacks carried out by Seahorse with Slade Cutter in command. In those first twenty-four hours of Cutter's initiation as a combat skipper, three Japanese ships went to the bottom. By the time that inaugural 53-day patrol was over, Cutter had covered 11,873 miles of Pacific Ocean and set a record for combined tonnage and number of enemy ships destroyed.