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Search begins for ships lost in World War II

NOAA is leading a summer research expedition that began June 1 to locate and study World War II shipwrecks sunk in 1942 off North Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic, specifically the Battle of Convoy KS-520.

The shipwrecks are located in an area known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” which includes sunken vessels from U.S. and British naval fleets, merchant ships and German U-boats.

“This summer will be the most ambitious of our Battle of the Atlantic research expeditions, and potentially the most exciting,” said David W. Alberg, superintendent of the USS MonitorNational Marine Sanctuary.

On July 14, 1942, a merchant convoy of 19 ships and five military escorts left Hampton Roads, Va., sailing south to Key West, Fla., to deliver cargo to aid the war effort. The next day, off Cape Hatteras, N.C., Convoy KS-520 was attacked by German submarine U-576. The convoy fought back with an American warship ramming the U-boat while U.S. Navy aircraft dropped depth charges that sunk the submarine.

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