World War II shipwreck reefs

JOHN MCCORD / UNC COASTAL STUDIES INSTITUTE – BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC EXPEDITION


From Cosmo Magazine


In July 1942, German submarine U-576 sank the freighter SS Bluefields during the battle of Convoy KS-520 off the coast of North Carolina.

The convoy fought back, though, and return fire from US Navy Armed Guard and an aerial depth charge attack sank the U-boat. The vessels lay on the sea floor for decades as fish and other marine life moved in and made them home.

More than 70 years later, in 2014, the wrecks were rediscovered and in August and September this year, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners went in for a closer look. This is what they found.

During the very first dive of the expedition, scientists located and explored the German U-576.

This was the first time since the submarine was sunk on 15 July 1942 that anyone had laid eyes on the vessel.


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NOAA German submarine North Carolina U-576 Convoy KS-520