Divers know that the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” just off the coast of North Carolina, is packed full of interesting, historically significant wrecks from what Winston Churchill called the Battle of the Atlantic. This long battle led to more than 80 ships being sunk in this area, and NOAA has just discovered the final resting place of one more: The YP-389.
The YP-389 was a U.S. Naval patrol ship that was sunk by the U-701, a German submarine, about 20 miles off the coast. It was originally built as a fishing vessel, but like many other ships in those times, it was pushed into service as a coastal patrol craft after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The YP-389could only return fire on the U-701 with machine guns, which were no match for the German firepower. It lies in about 300 feet of water, so it’s not exactly the hot new dive site, but it is a huge discovery.
“The story of the YP-389personifies the character of the Battle of the Atlantic along the East Coast of the United States, where small poorly armed fishing trawlers were called to defend American waters against one of Germany’s most feared vessels,” said David W. Alberg, expedition leader and superintendent of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. “It is one of the most dramatic accounts of an engagement between Axis and Allied warships during the dark days of World War II.”
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