Tuesday, December 13, 2011

German submarine U-352

German submarine U-352 was a Type VIIC U-boat of the German Kriegsmarine during World War II.

1st patrol

U-352 left Kiel on 15 January 1942, and arrived at Bergen on the 19th. She left the next day and patrolled south of Iceland without success before sailing to her new home port at Saint-Nazaire by 26 February.

2nd patrol

U-352 left St. Nazaire on 7 April 1942 and sailed across the Atlantic to the coast of the north-eastern United States. There on 9 May 1942, she was sunk by depth charges from the US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Icarus, south of Morehead City, North Carolina, in position 34°21′N 76°35′WCoordinates: 34°21′N 76°35′W. Fifteen of the crew were lost, but 33 survived, and spent the remainder of the war as prisoners of war.

Dive site

The U-352 lies in about 100 feet (30 m) of water, and sits at a 45-degree list to starboard. This wreck is a popular scuba diving spot for advanced divers. A replica of the wreck is on display at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.

Heinz Richter

Heinz Karl Richter, a Maschinengefreiter (equivalent of a Fireman 3rd Class) who survived the sinking, was found living in Canada and was interviewed for Discovery Channel's special coverage of U-352. He said that Captain Rathke was obsessed with receiving a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal for sinking 100,000 tonnes worth of enemy ships. Richter said that the captain's obsession eventually led to recklessness, ultimately resulting in the ship's sinking. Richter also said he was the last man out of the boat before it sank; those still on board were already dead, or perished in the boat as it sank.

Video of U-352, sunk May 9, 1942, taken in July, 2011 while diving with Olympus dive charters located in Morehead, NC.

Lying on the bottom in approx. 100 ft of water 30+ miles from shore, heavy seas often prevent access to divers.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the article and Brian Spilsbury for the video.

Kathy Dowsett

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