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Did an Army pilot attack a German submarine during World War II off Wrightsville Beach?

Mike Voorheis

A boarding party from the USS Pillsbury secures a tow line to the newly captured German U-boat U-505 on Jun 4, 1944. The U-505 has been on exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago since 1954. U.S. Navy photo.

Yes. As long as by “off Wrightsville Beach,” you mean about 25 miles off Wrightsville Beach.

There are two incidents that are documented by historians.

Local World War II historian Wilbur Jones, who has written several books on World War II, including “A Sentimental Journey: Memoirs of a Wartime Boomtown,” described one of the attacks.

A German submarine fired three rounds at the Ethyl-Dow plant near Kure Beach on July 25, 1943, Army planes were dispatched to destroy the sub. Though there’s no definitive evidence about whether the sub was sunk by aircraft or surface watercraft, it’s likely that an Army plane did fire on the submarine.

Author Ray McCallister recounts a separate incident in “Wrightsville Beach: The Luminous Island.”

On March 31, 1942, War Department records indicated that an Army “B-25 sighted a sub 25 miles off Wrightsville Beach (Wilmington, N.C.) and dropped four depth bombs with result of much oil but no debris. Stayed on scene till 1030. At 1745 C.G. Boats arrived and dropped 15 D.C.’s.’”


 Did German U-boat sailors see a movie in Southport during World War II?

Did a U-boat threaten the Frying Pan Shoals lightship?

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2 Responses to “ Did an Army pilot attack a German submarine during World War II off Wrightsville Beach?”

  1. On January 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm Bill wrote:

    FYI. There were 397 Ships and 2 Submarins sunk off the Coast of NC… WW2

  2. On January 30, 2013 at 8:47 am GS wrote:

    Presumably the two subs were enemy, but how many other ships (of the 397 total you list) were enemy too??

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