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German U-boat located off Nantucket

Divers have discovered a World War II-era German submarine nearly 70 years after it sank under U.S. attack off Nantucket, Mass., according to an Associated Press report.

U-550, was found by a privately funded group that includes members who had been searching for the sub for two decades.

Using side-scan sonar, the team located the wreck about 70 miles south of Nantucket.

On April 16, 1944, U-550 torpedoed the gasoline tanker SS Pan Pennsylvania, which had lagged behind its protective convoy as it set out with 140,000 barrels of gasoline for Great Britain.

The U-boat slipped under the doomed tanker to hide, but one of the tanker’s three escorts, the USS Joyce, saw it on sonar and damaged it with depth charges.

The Germans, forced to surface, manned their deck guns while another escort vessel, the USS Gandy, returned fire and rammed the U-boat. The third escort, the USS Peterson, then hit the U-boat with two more depth charges. The crew abandoned the submarine, though not before setting off explosions to scuttle it. The submarine hadn’t been seen until team located it.

U-550 is one of several World War II-era German U-boats that have been discovered off the U.S. coast, but it’s the only one known to have gone down in that area, according to New Jersey lawyer Joe Mazraani, organizer of the recovery mission.

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