Sunken German submarine discovered 30 miles off North Carolina coast

30 miles off the coast of North Carolina near Ocraccock Island, after seven years of searching, the German submarine U-576 was discovered, sunk by the US Coast Guard 74 years ago.

According to available information, U-576 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Hans-Dieter Heinicke with 44 crew members set sail on 15 July 1942. Its main task was to hunt for merchant ships on sea lanes soon after the United States entered the war. On account of U-576 many sunk ships and hundreds of dead sailors. However, the Nazis did not escape retribution.

The search was organized by the US Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in conjunction with the North Carolina Institute for Coastal Research. Starting in 2009, it ended in August 2014. Near the sunken boat at the bottom was a merchant ship that had fallen victim to U-576 a year earlier.

The search engines are trying to understand what happened to the boat on that fateful day. Apparently, on July 14, 1942, in one of the battles, she was already damaged and followed back to her base, simultaneously hunting for Allied ships off the coast of the United States. On that very day, a convoy of 24 ships followed there.

At about 4:00 pm, U-576 was spotted by one of the Coast Guard boats. The hunt began. First, 3 depth charges were dropped on the boat, and then 5 more. Hans-Dieter Heinicke decided to attack the convoy with 4 torpedoes, which sank one and damaged 2 ships.

After that, the escort aircraft entered the battle, dropping depth charges onto the boat, which forever sent it to the bottom along with 44 crew members.

Surprisingly, the boat is quite well preserved. Only the wooden deck rotted away. The iron hull itself remained intact, as did the hatches leading inside, where the bodies of the submarine's team should still be. Under US law, the wreckage of U-576 remains the property of Germany.