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Mystery Object Photographed at U-352 Wreck (North Carolina)

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by CharlieDontDive, Jul 7, 2020.

?

What do you think the mystery object is?

  1. Mark VII depth charge

  2. Latch mechanism for conning tower hatch

  3. Other

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  1. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    I'm a U-boat history enthusiast and avid diver. Recently (finally) I was able to dive the U-352 wreck off North Carolina, USA. During my dive, I photographed an item that I am unable to identify. The object lays in the sand against the wreck's port side (the wreck itself lists about 45 degrees to starboard).

    Below are some photos:
    I hope that someone here can identify this object or, if not, perhaps someone knows of a person or resource that can help.

    Thank you for reading!

    Charlie
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Why would you think it's a Mk VII?
     
  3. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    the Mark VII was the primary depth charge in use by the United States when the U-352 was sunk, so it was most likely Mk VIIs used to attack the U-boat. That's just based on my research...I could be wrong.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And the fact that the Mk VII looks like an oil drum should be taken into consideration, yes?
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Funny it reminds me either of a spot light or a compass with cover. Judging the size/scale is the problem, of course it could just be random junk left behind by somebody else.
     
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  6. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    Yes, but...I'm not sure what a depth charge looks like after detonation. Presumably most/all of the "drum" part is blown away when it goes off. The object in the photo looks a bit like the front and back end to what might have originally been oil drum-shaped. The piece in the foreground doesn't resemble any of the few Mk VII pics I've been able to find, but perhaps it was a different type of "lid" for whatever reason or perhaps it wasn't a Mark VII at all.

    I'm basing this on all amateur history sleuthing, it's just conjecture on my part. My hope is that somewhere here knows better than I...
     
  7. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    Funny it reminds me either of a spot light or a compass with cover.
    I thought that, too...

    Judging the size/scale is the problem
    It's hard for me to articulate since I know the answer to this intuitively based on the size of the sub itself. It was probably ~3 feet in length. But, then again, objects appear larger underwater due to light refraction so it may have been a bit smaller than that.

    it could just be random junk left behind by somebody else
    Could be, but it looks about as old as the rest of the wreck, suggesting it may have been down there just as long.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I don't know about Icarus, the Coast Guard cutter that sank U-352, but destroyers often carried a mix of 600lb (dropped off stern racks) and 300lb (fired by Y or K guns) charges. The older flush-deck DDs could only carry 300pdrs, and that might also have been true of a small ship like Icarus.
     
  9. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    okay now this is some good info! I was surprised how little information I could find on the topic of depth charges via Google. There’s plenty of general info but there’s a relative scarcity of information specific models, what ships carried them, and- most importantly for my purposes- what they looked like.

    you mentioned 300 and 600 pd charges, do you know what model these would have been? The best I could find is that most US vessels would have carried Mark VIIs in 1942.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The 300 pounder was the Mark 6, probably used by the DC throwers. CG cutters used both types. Although I have not found specific instances of Icarus using 600lb DCs, there are other Coast Guard cutters that did use them.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I doubt it is part of a DC, by the simple fact of that long prong on the bottom. It appears to be at the edge, rather than centered if it was part of a DC.

    Where is it located in relation to the submarine? Fore? Amidships? Aft?

    Could be an outside pipe fitting. Exhaust hatch. Life raft container.
     
  12. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    yea, the prong has been at the top of my mental list of reasons it's not a DC. but I didn't have enough visual references of DCs to rule it out.

    It was port side, past the conning tower...1/3 or 1/2 of the way toward the bow.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The drum is filled with explosives. Itty bitty bits left after it explodes.
    No, it doesn't.
     
  14. CharlieDontDive

    CharlieDontDive New Member Patron  

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    Yes, it does.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Why do you think that?
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    According to wiki USCGC Icarus carried two racks and two K gun launchers as well as something called a 'mousetrap rocket launcher', but am not sure all of these were installed at the time of the sinking. For it to be a DC it would have to be the final one dropped after the crew evacuated and as it was going down to settle that close and for that much to be intact I think it must be a dud, yet there is no report of it being so.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Mouse trap rocket launcher.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I did some googling and it said it was a upgraded hedgehog, but thanks for the image. Probably not onboard at the time though.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Your not thinking of the actual "can", but the firing pistol, booster, or booster extension.

    You have to remember that they are surrounded by explosives. When these explosives detonate, those 3 objects undergo severe compression from the blast wave - just like the plutonium core of Fat Man needed to be compressed by conventional explosives to form a critical mass.
     
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  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    [​IMG]
     

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