10/27/14

A Rare Glimpse into History – Sunken WWII Ships Found off the Coast of Cape Hatteras

Providing new insight into a relatively little-known chapter in American history, a team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has just discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic, 30 miles off the Cape Hatteras coast.

The attacked WWII merchant ship Bluefields and the German U-boat that attacked it only to be assailed by aircraft and escorts protecting the merchant ships were both found resting less than 240 yards apart on the ocean floor. It’s a rare window into a historic battle story and the underwater landscape of the battles of World War II.

These most recent findings are part of an ongoing Battle of the Atlantic, underwater archaeological field expedition on the remains of vessels from the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. German, American British naval and merchant vessels lost in the Atlantic have been visited and studied by archaeologists, marine biologists and researchers. The UNC Coastal Studies Institute here on the Outer Banks, as well as NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, East Carolina University, Minerals Management Service, the National Park Service and the State of North Carolina have all collaborated on this mission that has been ongoing and making interesting discoveries since 2008.

To find out more about Maritime History be sure to check out the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum on your next trip to Hatteras Island.

For more information on this exciting discovery, view the complete article on NOAA’s website here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20141021_ww11_vessels.html

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