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U-85 is significant to maritime history and historic archaeology as it was the first German U-boat sunk by United States Naval forces off the American East Coast during WWII’s Battle of the Atlantic. U-85 was sunk on April 13, 1942, by the destroyer USS Roper. All 46 members of the crew were killed, the site is considered a war grave, and protected by the Sunken Military Craft Act.
U-85 is a very rare Type VIIB U-boat, one of only 24 built, and was the only Type VIIB U-boat lost off the U.S. East Coast during the war. This site has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. U-85 now rests in approximately 100-110 feet of water about 14 miles east of Oregon Inlet. Between 2008 and 2015, Monitor NMS and partners have created multiple representations of the site including photomosaics and photogrammetry images. In addition to photographically produced data, high resolution multibeam surveys have been conducted of the site.
Credit: John McCord/UNC-Coastal Studies Institute