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Old 07-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
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Strange Coincidence

I sometimes think of the strange coincidence. Before GPS and even dual track LORAN A I used this chart for fishing out of Morehead City, NC. I still have the chart that I had one of the draftsmen in the office ink for me. It was carried in a protective, water proof plastic sheath on my knee while fishing.

One of our favorite fishing spots, especially during the fall king mackeral season, was the Atlas Tanker across Cape Lookout shoals. The Atlas was torpedoed in 1942 by a German sub. Many years later My sister-in-law said that her father was killed on the Atlas tanker when it was torpedoed, and thought she would like to find it someday. I was shocked to hear it. I told her exactly where it is, and that I had fished over it many times. This just reminds us of the real human stories and risks of the Merchant Marine during WWII.

On the chart the Atlas is located near the right hand side.

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Old 07-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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My mother used to work for Pan Am in Miami during WWII. She used to tell us how all the lights were turned off at night so merchant ships could leave the harbor without being silhouetted for U-boats. She also mentioned a flying boat which was shot down by a U-boat. Always had a hard time imagining what WWII was like as we have seen nothing similar in our generation. My father meanwhile was island hopping in the South Pacific complements of the Army. He would never talk of what he experienced and saw. They were certainly terrible times in the 1940's.

Sorry for the thread drift.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:38 AM   #3
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My mother used to work for Pan Am in Miami during WWII. She used to tell us how all the lights were turned off at night so merchant ships could leave the harbor without being silhouetted for U-boats. She also mentioned a flying boat which was shot down by a U-boat. Always had a hard time imagining what WWII was like as we have seen nothing similar in our generation. My father meanwhile was island hopping in the South Pacific complements of the Army. He would never talk of what he experienced and saw. They were certainly terrible times in the 1940's.

Sorry for the thread drift.
No problem. There were many who worked in critical industries, and many more ways to serve. WWII was truly the Great War, and the greatness of many people was shown.

I have a friend whose father worked for Pan AM at Dinner Key..Your mother would probably have known him. I do not know my friend's maiden name, so would have no idea her father's name.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:43 AM   #4
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Donsan, I bet your Mom was talking about the U134. She shot down the K74 blimp flying out of Miami. The blimp base is now the site of Zoo Miami.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:24 AM   #5
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While I never fished the Atlas tanker, I have dove it and almost all the wrecks from Morehead city to Nags Head NC. Most of them are WWI and WWII. The Germans sank hundreds of ships off the East Coast of the USA in each war.

Ted
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:55 AM   #6
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Donsan, I bet your Mom was talking about the U134. She shot down the K74 blimp flying out of Miami. The blimp base is now the site of Zoo Miami.
Possible but I believe she was referring to knowing the crew of a flying boat shot down in the Caribbean. I don't recall Pan Am being in the blimp business. These were people she worked with although admittedly I don't recall what she did at Pan Am. My memory of her stories isn't that great although I still have some of her WWII pictures from Miami/Coral Gables.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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While I never fished the Atlas tanker, I have dove it and almost all the wrecks from Morehead city to Nags Head NC. Most of them are WWI and WWII. The Germans sank hundreds of ships off the East Coast of the USA in each war.

Ted
Ted, that was back in the '70s before diving became as popular. We seldom encountered diver down flags. That is except for the Sulloide wreck that was closer to shore. Today it would probably be difficult to find a wreck without divers on it. The fishing was great, and it was like we had the whole ocean to ourselves.

The wreck 11 NM due east of the Atlas we called the Far East Tanker. I don't know if that was its name, but you probably have dived on it also.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:43 PM   #8
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Ted, that was back in the '70s before diving became as popular. We seldom encountered diver down flags. That is except for the Sulloide wreck that was closer to shore. Today it would probably be difficult to find a wreck without divers on it. The fishing was great, and it was like we had the whole ocean to ourselves.

The wreck 11 NM due east of the Atlas we called the Far East Tanker. I don't know if that was its name, but you probably have dived on it also.
Started diving out of Morehead city in '78.

Names change over time. Often wrecks are identified or misidentified by historic loss records. Good friend of mine (Gary Gentile) writes books on the coastal shipwrecks. Part of his life's work has been to research and properly identify these wrecks.The Suloide (correct spelling) sank as the result of a collision with the mostly submerged remains of what was thought to be the W. E. Hutton sunk by a German U boat ( U-124). In 2006 it was determined that the wreck in the W. E. Hutton location was actually the tanker Ario sunk by the U-158.

The "Far East Tanker" was identified in the '80s or early '90s as the Tamaulipas sunk by the U-552 and lying in two pieces a couple hundred yards apart. We dove the stern section this June from Hatteras, NC.

Lots of history and war time casualties lie just off the coast of NC. Sadly we don't teach history in pulic schools anymore so the hundreds of merchant seamen lie in their watery graves, forgotten.

Ted
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