The following paragraph is from Earl O'Neal's book, Ocracoke Island, Its People, the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Base During World War II:
"The Navy was so short of warships and trained crews to go after the German U-boats in the first months of the war, that they resorted to the use of local sailboats and small privately owned yachts. The rumor circulated that the submarines would surface and shoot the men on our boats with machine guns and small arms. True or not, the story made its point: the small local boats were certainly no match for the German U-boats. This fleet of small craft got the name Hooligan Fleet."
Earl has photos of these vessels in his book. You can purchase the book at the Ocracoke Preservation Society.
Our most recent Ocracoke Newsletter is a compilation of humorous stories told by or about islanders. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092113.htm.