In mariners' terms, it's an area that's long been known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." In World War II terms, the waters off the Outer Banks of North Carolina gained the additional nickname of "Torpedo Junction," as predatory U-boats sunk or damaged hundreds of ships there during the dark early days following American's entry in the global conflict. Now, another piece of Torpedo Junction's archaeological puzzle has fallen into place: The wreck of a U.S. Navy vessel destroyed in a firefight with a U-boat in 1942 has been discovered off Cape Hatteras.
The remains of the 102-foot, 170-ton patrol craft YP-389 have been resting undisturbed in 300 feet of water about 20 miles out from Hatteras Inlet since 19 June 1942, when she had her fatal encounter with U-701. The sinking of YP-389 came during the most audaciously successful voyage of the German submarine as she ravaged mid-Atlantic shipping before meeting her own demise in July 1942.