Jul 27, 2012, 07:49 AM
WW II German U-Boat U-550 Found
Press Release July27, 2012
GERMAN U-BOATDISCOVERED OFF NEW ENGLAND COAST
The WW II German submarine U-550 was discovered on July 23,2012, 70 miles south of Nantucket Massachusetts.The U-550 was sunk by depth charges on April 16, 1944 after successfullytorpedoing the American tanker, the Pan Pennsylvania. The exact location of the U-550 has neverbeen known and though there have been several searches for the location of theU-550, all have been unsuccessful. Garry Kozak of EdgeTech, Wareham MA, isa specialist in undersea search with 40 years of experience. EdgeTech is a manufacturer of high resolutioncommercial & military side scan sonar systems used world wide for demandingundersea search operations. Garry teamedwith AWS Expeditions operated by Joe Mazraani and associates to research and tofinalize what should be the likely area the submarine sank in. Utilizing specialized side scan sonar largearea search techniques, an area totaling over 70 square miles of seafloor werecovered in 2 days of search operations resulting in the location of the U-550.The sonar image shows the U-550 sitting upright and tilting to her starboardside. Underwater images of the deck and torpedo loading hatch were captured andthe images were assembled into a composite photo mosaic. Further documenting ofthe wreck site is planned.
OnApril 16, 1944, the German submarine U-550,a type IXC/40 long-range U-boat under the command of Kaptitanleutnant KlausHanert, put a single torpedo into the stern of the 10,017-ton American tanker Pan Pennsylvania. The Allied tanker was in convoy and bound forEnglandloaded with 140,000 barrels of gasoline at the time. Following the torpedo explosion, the shiptook on an immediate list to port, and when a fire broke out in the engine roomthe tanker was abandoned in short order. The convoy escorts picked up 56 survivors, leaving 25 men missing out ofa crew of 81.
Afterpicking up the survivors from the Pan Pennsylvania,the U.S. Navy destroyer escorts USS Joyce,Peterson and Gandy combined their efforts to bring swift and fatal retributionto the attacking submarine. Picking up asolid contact with her sonar gear, USS Joyceclosed on the target and made a depth-charge attack that quickly brought the U-550 to the surface. Gunfire from all three escorts converged onthe surfaced submarine as German sailors poured out of her hatches, brieflyreturning fire with their own weapons. Meanwhile, USS Gandy rammedthe submarine aft and the Germans abandoned ship. A muffled explosion aboard the submarineindicated the crew had set off scuttling charges and U-550 sank stern first. Twelve survivors from the submarine were picked up by the destroyerescorts, while 44 men were lost. Patrolboats picked up the bodies of three German sailors outfitted with escape gearduring the next several weeks: they hadapparently escaped the sunken submarine only to die adrift at sea. The tanker Pan Pennsylvania capsized and drifted for two days, her cargo ofgasoline on fire, before finally being sunk with gunfire.
For more historical information on the events of April 16,1944, please refer to the US Coast Guard website: U.S. Coast Guard History
For more informationon the discovery please contact Garry Kozak at 603.238-7721, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Mazraani at 732.803-5641,e-mail: email@example.com
Attachments: Image 1- sonar image of U-550 sitting on theseafloor
Image 2- photo mosaic showing the deck and torpedo loading hatch of the
Image 3- the U-550 sinking April 16, 1944
Jul 27, 2012, 08:04 AM
A belated Welcome Aboard TNet !!
I took your class way back in the day (20 years ago??) and still have the handout booklet.
Congrats on your U-boat discovery !
Last edited by Mackaydon; Jul 27, 2012 at 08:34 AM.
Jul 27, 2012, 08:15 AM
Great research and a well executed survey! Congrats!
Jul 27, 2012, 08:19 AM
Thanks for sharing, Acman
Jul 27, 2012, 06:54 PM
Great work. The Navy report listed the location of the sinking as 40.09N, 69.44W. Is that about where you found her?
Jul 27, 2012, 07:17 PM
Congrats on an incredible discovery! What depth is she in?
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