chapter  10
8 Pages

The U-Boat War off the Outerbanks

WithJames T. Cheatham

During the early months of World War II, North Carolina Outerbanks residents were the most susceptible of any along the Atlantic seaboard to rumors and misinformation. Most Outerbanks residents earned their living fishing and many were without formal education, and as far as they were concerned, invasion was imminent and their lives were severely threatened. Some seamen who were on ships torpedoed during World War II still reside in Snug Harbor, a seamen's retirement home on the Outerbanks about thirty miles north of Morehead City. They can recite their experiences with the U-boats and subsequent rescue at sea. During the early part of 1942, the U-boats made their mark and the Americans repeated just what happened in World War I; that is, instead of instituting escorted convoys, to better protect merchant shipping, some antisubmarine ships were randomly dispatched to hunt the U-boats.