Expedition aims to find and preserve lost World War II shipwrecks

By Gareth McGrath - Star News Online

It was a time when the greatest war the world had ever seen literally washed up on North Carolina’s doorstep.

“I remember as a boy walking on Wrightsville Beach and avoiding the debris that had washed up on shore,” said local military historian Wilbur Jones. “It didn’t happen all the time. But it was there.”

But today the wrecks and other remnants from the Battle of the Atlantic that took place just off the state’s coast, like the memories of those who experienced World War II firsthand, are slowly being lost.

To help protect and preserve that maritime history, an expedition headed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will seek to find, examine and document previously undiscovered wartime wrecks off the Outer Banks.

“The information collected during this expedition will help us better understand and document this often lost chapter of America’s maritime history and its significance to the nation,” said David Alberg, expedition leader and superintendent of the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, in a release announcing the three-week survey mission.

shipwrecks World War II North Carolina Battle of the Atlantic Wrightsville Beach Wilbur Jones