U-boats Off the Mid-Atlantic Coast
War on America's Doorstep!
— Monitor National Marine Sanctuary —
On December 11, 1942, Germany declared war on the United States and in doing so brought the Battle of the Atlantic to America's doorstep. By January of 1942, the glow of burning Allied merchant ships could be seen from our beaches, their oil and the carnage of war washed along our shores. Over the next three years, 81 merchant ships, nine Allied naval vessels, and five U-boats were lost off coastal Virginia and North Carolina. This condensed area of naval conflict is a World War II (WWII) battlefield, and this is where the clenched fist of Hitler's Germany touched America's shores.
More than any other place in the United States, coastal Virginia and North Carolina serve as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and memorial to WWII's Battle of the Atlantic. Since 2008, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and partners have documented and surveyed this unique collection of WWII Allied and German vessels. NOAA's goal is to protect these fragile historic resources for future generations, and to preserve the memory of the brave Allied service men and U.S.
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries works with state and local partners to protect and preserve America's maritime heritage.
Chilore survived both a U-boat attack and damage from a minefield when it finally came to an end, capsizing under tow entering the Chesapeake Bay.
SS Montana is on fire after colliding with the Liberty ship John Morgan off Virginia Beach. John Morgan sank in less than two minutes with the loss of 68 crewmembers. Montana survived and was towed to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs.
The converted British fishing trawler HMS Kingston Ceylonite sank when it struck a mine laid by U-701 near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay with the loss of 18 crewmembers (similarly converted HMT Bedfordshire pictured above).
The German U-701 was one of the most deadly U-boats operating off the mid-Atlantic and was responsible for laying a minefield at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in 1942 that sank two ships and damaged three others.
Erected by Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, U.S Department of Commerce.
Topics. This historical
Location. 36° 51.142′ N, 75° 58.534′ W. Marker is in North Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker is on Virginia Beach Boardwalk just south of 24th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The United States Life-Saving Service Stations & Crews (a few steps from this marker); 24th Street Park (a few steps from this marker); U.S. Coast Guard Virginia Lifeboat Stations (a few steps from this marker); Outer planking from a vessel (a few steps from this marker); Replica Race Point Surfboat (a few steps from this marker); The Life-Saving Station (a few steps from this marker); Stern piece of a ship (a few steps from this marker); Old Coast Guard Station (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Virginia Beach.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.