Written in plain text and not code, the battle plans were quickly translated and sent to the commander of the Pacific fleet. They would prove instrumental in a one-sided victory by American forces in the Battle of the Phillipine Sea, the largest aircraft carrier battle in history and the decisive battle of the Pacific War.
The events surrounding that mission would later be the subject of the book The Rescue by Steven Trent Smith, as well as a documentary that has been shown on the History Channel.
Despite being attacked many times, the closest the Crevalle came to sinking was during a freak accident while performing a routine maneuver while on her fifth patrol, Larsen said.
"We did trim dives daily," he said, dives where the controls and trim were tested and adjusted, "and the closest we came to sinking we almost did to ourselves during one of them"
When the submarine surfaced and the upper hatch was clear of the water, a few crew members immediately opened the hatch and climbed onto the bridge to check for enemy ships or airplanes.
As was standard procedure, the Crevalle was surfacing at a steep angle, under full speed, and with the main vents open so they could quickly submerge if they came under attack. Two crewmen opened the hatch, latched it open, and climbed onto the bridge. Before a third could climb out, he was blasted back off the ladder by a torrent of water as the Crevalle started into a second, inadvertent dive.
With the hatch latched wide open, the sub was taking on tons of water, and sinking at a fast rate. With no way to get at the hatch from inside the sub, the ship and crew were doomed. Suddenly, the hatch slammed shut, and at 190 feet and a 42 degree down angle, the submarine began to surface again.