A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, local officials said on Tuesday.
The two ships clashed in the Battle of the Atlantic in 1942, and have remained lost in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, DPA reported.
Researchers led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries discovered the vessels about 30 miles from shore.
“Most people associate the Battle of the Atlantic with the cold, icy waters of the North Atlantic, ” NOAA official David Alberg said, “but few people realize how close the war actually came to America’s shores.”
The discovery of the German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields offers “a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII, ” NOAA said.
The ships were found a mere 750 feet apart.
“The Federal Republic of Germany is not interested in a recovery of the remnants of the U-576 and will not participate in any such project, ” the German Foreign Office said in a statement. “They are under special protection and should, if possible, remain at their site and location to allow the dead to rest in peace.”