The German U-Boat Threat
In the early years of the war, German submarines controlled the waters off America's southeastern coast, thus threatening to ground all U.S. shipping and naval operations. To engage and defeat this threat, the U.S. Navy turned to several unfamiliar resources. Starting in 1942, British submarine trawlers sailed across the Atlantic for Charleston, where they received needed maintenance and later, began patrolling American waters and engaging German submarines. The Navy also received assistance from commercial airline pilots, fishermen, blimps, and dock workers to locate and report on German submarine activity. Nevertheless, the German submarine threat was very real, and the U.S. Navy took notice.
German Sub Attack

German Sub Attack

ca. April 1942

National Airlines Sub Sighting

Sub Sighting Report

June 10, 1943

Blimp Engages Submarine

Blimp Engages Sub

July 20, 1943

Report on the Sinking of U-128

Sinking of the U-128

May 17, 1943

Report of Submarine Attack

Report of Sub Attack

May 25, 1942

Recovery Operations for Ship

Recovery Operations

ca. May 1942

Report of Sub Attack


June 12, 1942

British Ship Patrols for Subs

British Patrols for Subs

April 10, 1942

Beach Paravane

Beached Paravane

ca. April 1942