The history of the Outer Banks is remarkable, and at times it has been tragic. No more so than activities on the sea’s edge during World War II. Since North America was discovered by European explorers, shipping has hugged the coastline, riding currents that head south before bearing east for Europe. The Germans were aware of this pattern, and during WWII, their submarines exacted a terrible toll on ships off the coast of the Outer Banks.
1942 Loss of Ships
The Battle for the Atlantic hung in the balance in 1942 as German U-Boats preyed on allied shipping in wolfpacks. Seventy ships sank off the North Carolina coast during that year, and 56 of those ships within sight of the Outer Banks from Ocracoke to the Currituck Banks.