Thursday, September 22, 2016


On July 15, 1942, a convoy of nineteen allied merchant vessels and five escorts were steaming around Diamond Shoals when they were attacked by the German type VIIc submarine, U-576. The Nicaraguan ship, Bluefields, was sunk immediately. Two other ships were damaged. When the U-Boot unexpectedly surfaced in the midst of the convoy she was attacked with deck guns, aircraft, and depth charges. The U-576 sank to the bottom.

US Government Document

Since 2009 several research, educational, and governmental agencies had been searching for the sub. In 2014, with the aid of sonar, the wreck (along with the wreck of the Bluefields) was located 721 feet below the surface, about 35 miles east of Ocracoke. However, it was only on August 24 of this year that researchers got their first look at U-576. She was lying on her side with all hatches sealed, presumably entombing all 45 crewmen. The oldest sailor was 29 years old.

According to NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), an estimated 90 vessels, including U-576 and three other subs, were sunk off the Outer Banks between January and July 1942. 1,600 men (1,100 of them merchant seamen) were killed.

You can read more of this story here.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about earthquakes that have affected Ocracoke and the Outer Banks. You can read the newsletter here:

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