A U.S. Navy warship, sunk just two months prior to the conclusion of Planet War II in Europe, has finally been found. The patrol boat PE-56 sunk off the coast of Maine in April 1945. The ship, lengthy considered to have been the target of an accidental explosion, was revealed in 2003 to have essentially been sunk by a German u-boat.
PE-56 was just one of sixty Eagle-class patrol boats built as submarine chasers in Planet War I. Constructed by the Ford Motor Corporation, PE-56 was 200 feet long, had a crew of 68, and mounted two four-inch guns, just one 3-inch gun, and two .50-caliber machine guns.
PE-56 entered company in August 1918, only a few months small of the finish of Environment War I. The Eagle-class boats had been reactivated for Environment War II, where they served to guard U.S. coastal waters from enemy submarines. On April 23rd, 1945, PE-56 was towing targets for Navy dive bombers when it was quickly ripped in 50 percent by an explosion. According to the Navy Historical Centre, only 13 of the 67 sailors onboard survived.
The Navy chalked up the sinking of the ship to a boiler explosion. Survivors, nevertheless, claimed sighting a submarine conning tower painted with a trotting pink horse on a yellow defend. In 2001, a naval historian concluded that the symbols on the ship matched the German Navy submarine U-853, and that the underwater warship experienced sunk PE-56.
The Secretary of the Navy agreed with the getting. This made sailors killed or wounded in the attack suitable for the Purple Hart. U-853 was sunk 13 times afterwards, on Might 6th, 1945, off the coastline of Connecticut.
In June 2018, diver Ryan King sighted the wreck of PE-56, off the coastline of Portland, Maine. The ship experienced been beforehand situated on sonar by underwater look for expert Gary Kozak. Though the discovery was designed very last year, it was only uncovered this week. The patrol boat was found five miles off the coastline of Cape Elizabeth in 300 ft of drinking water.
Underwater footage of PE-56 will be aired later this yr on the Smithsonian Channel, in a documentary titled, “Hunt for Eagle 56.”