Washington, September 11 (ANI): A research mission has located and identified the final resting place of the YP-389, a US Navy patrol boat sunk approximately 20 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, by a German submarine during World War II.
Six sailors died in the attack on June 19, 1942. There were 18 survivors.
The wreck is located in about 300 feet of water in a region off North Carolina known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," home to US and British naval vessels, merchant ships, and German U-boats sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic.
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and its expedition partners mapped and shot video of the wreck using high-resolution camera equipment, multibeam sonar and an advanced remotely operated vehicle deployed from the NOAA ship Nancy Foster.
Researchers were able to locate and positively identify the YP-389 by reexamining data from the Duke Marine Laboratory expedition that discovered the USS Monitor in 1973.
Today, the relatively intact remains of the YP-389 rest upright on the ship's keel.
The wreck site is home to a variety of marine life. Much of the outer-hull plating has fallen away, leaving only the intact frames exposed.
"She rests now like a literal skeleton, a reminder of a time long ago when the nation was at war," said Joseph Hoyt, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary archaeologist and principal investigator for the project.
Built originally as a fishing trawler, the YP-389 was converted into a coastal patrol craft and pressed into service after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The ship was equipped with one 3-inch deck gun to protect the ship from enemy aircraft and surfaced submarines and two .30-caliber machine guns.
However, on the day of the attack by the German submarine U-701, the ship's deck gun was inoperative, and the YP-389 could return fire only with its machine guns.
Weeks after the attack on the YP-389, the U-701 was sunk by Army aircraft in the same vicinity as the YP-389.
According to Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach, USN (Ret), director, Naval History and Heritage Command, "The US Navy considers the YP-389 discovery a grave site and, by law, it is to be left undisturbed." (ANI)