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Protecting Our Nation's World War II Battlefield tells the story of World War II and when it came to America's shores off the North Carolina coast in 1942, and how Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is working to preserve this amazing collection of World War II ships lost during the Battle of the Atlantic. Video Credit: NOAA

Proposed Sanctuary Expansion

In 2016, following several years of archaeological research, NOAA proposed and solicited public input on a proposal to expand Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off North Carolina to include additional historic shipwreck sites. The proposed expansion would include one of America's only World War II battlefields and protect an internationally significant collection of shipwrecks at risk from numerous threats.

Learn more about the proposed expansion and the expansion process.


100th Anniversary of World War I off North Carolina's Coast

June 2018 marks the start of the 100th anniversary of World War I off the North Carolina coast. To honor the anniversary and the men who fought and died during World War I off our shore, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary actively conducts research on World War I and the ships that sank off our coast. Visit our World War I webpage to learn the history, discover the shipwrecks, and visit often as new data and images are added. If you want to dive a little deeper, click here to read the full document, The Enemy in Home Waters—How World War I Came Home to North Carolina.

  • A reproduction of WWI painting shows a German submarine attacking an American merchant ship
  • The WWI poster was created by the U.S. Food Administration -- Defeat the Kaiser and his U-boats
  • Posters used to recruit people to the Navy during WWI
  • WWI poster shows a woman passenger from the RMS Lusitania submerged in water cradling an infant in her arms

World War II Off North Carolina's Coast

Dixie Arrow burning after being torpedoes by U-71. Photo: National Archives

Just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, German submarines began patrolling U.S. waters off the East Coast, thus bringing the Battle of the Atlantic home to our shores. On January 18, 1942, a steam tanker, Allan Jackson, was torpedoed by a German U-boat, U-66, and sank 60 miles east-northeast of Diamond Shoals, North Carolina. It was the first ship sunk by a German U-boat off North Carolina's coast, but it would not be the last. Over the next six months, dozens of Allied and merchant vessels, along with four U-boats, sank off coastal North Carolina, making the area truly, where the war came home to the United States.

More than any other place in the United States, coastal North Carolina serves as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and memorial to our nation's rich maritime history. Since 2008, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and partners have filmed, photographed, and surveyed this unique collection of World War II Allied and Axis vessels to honor the men who served and died on them as they helped to rid our country of tyranny. We are always adding new data, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and/or visit our shipwreck web pages to learn more about this historically significant collection of shipwrecks and this important part of our nation's maritime heritage.

 

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