Thursday, March 18, 2004

In recent years information about how close WWII was to our shores has become increasingly well known.

From January to July, 1942 397 ships, mostly merchant vessels, were sunk or damaged off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States by German U-boats. More than 5,000 people, primarily civilians, were cut down, drowned or burned when their ships were attacked. The heaviest concentration of destruction was off the Outer Banks. This is generally considered the greatest single defeat ever suffered by the American Navy. The debacle has even been referred to as the "Atlantic Turkey Shoot."

During the first six months of 1942 explosions off-shore would rattle windows and shake houses in the village. Ocracoke residents could see the fires and huge plumes of billowing black smoke rising from the ships attacked at sea. By July, 1942, however, the US Navy finally had the situation under control and the carnage was stopped. Nevertheless it would be almost three more years before Germany finally surrendered.

On this date in 1942 the tanker "E, M. Clark" was lost off shore of Ocracoke.

1 comment: