Two World-War-II shipwrecks found off U.S. shore

An ongoing project of World War II battlegrounds off U.S. shores is under-way two wrecks of have been already discovered. The twin wrecks are the freighter SS Bluefields and the German U-bot U-576.The wrecks sit about 48 kilometres off the Cape Hatteras coast, outside of any marine sanctuary protections.

Sonar image of SS Bluefields (by Live Science)
Sonar image of SS Bluefields (by Live Science)

The location of the wrecks was unknown to 2014 when they were discovered nearly 220 metres apart off the North Carolina coast. On July 15, 1942 the Bluefields was sailing under a Nicaraguan flag with a military escort when the German submarine attacked and sank the ship and was then sunk by bombs from U.S. Navy air cover and the deck gun of another merchant ship in the convoy, the Unicoi. All aboard the Bluefields were evacuated and everyone on the U-567 died. The U-576 is a war grave and in 2014 the German government stated that it has no interest in recovering any wreckage or bodies.

German U-bot U-567 on sonar image (by Live Science)
German U-bot U-567 on sonar image (by Live Science)

At present researchers are taking a closer look at both wrecks applying manned underwater vessels. The University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute is going to build 3D computer models of what remains on the ocean floor, using visual, sonar and other data about the wreck sites collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. During the course of the project other wrecks are scheduled for investigation, including the E.M. Clark, a tanker sunk in 1942 by a German U-bot, and the Panam, another tanker lost to a U-bot torpedo attack, in 1943.

(after Live Science)

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