The wreck of the War II-era German submarine which sank in 1944 under U.S. attack in deep waters off Nantucket, Massachusetts has been located and identified.
For nearly 70 years the final resting place of the U-550 had eluded all those who were looking for her.
After sitting as scrap for so many years, the U-550 was found Monday by a team of seven members who have been searching the vessel for over two decades.
"They’ve looked for it for over 20 years,” said Mazraani, a shipwreck diver. “It’s another World War II mystery solved.”
Garry Kozak, a specialist in undersea searches spotted the 77 meters German warship on the second day of search with the help of a side scan solar.
Located U-550 on 2nd trip
The privately funded search team was organized by New Jersey lawyer Joe Mazraani. It was the group’s second trip in two years to the site.
Traveling at five knots, the team painstakingly searched 100 square miles of ocean between two trips, for signs of the sunken vessel. The task was exhausting which crew members likened to “mowing the lawn”.
Garry Kozak, a specialist in undersea searches spotted the 77 meters German warship on the second day of expedition with the help of a side scan solar.
During the first pass only the nose of the U-boat was visible but after the second pass the sonar image made it clear the searchers had found the sunken vessel.
Words were not needed! Just the look on Kozak's face was enough to confirm that they had located the U-550.
“They could see it with the grin (on my face) and the look in my eyes,' Kozak said.
Mazraani dove down and took photographs of the U-550. Despite being underwater for over seven decades, the submarine is in fairy good condition.
The precise location of the submarine has not been disclosed. Mazraani now intends getting in touch with the sailors or their families from the escort vessels, the tanker and the German U-boat to share details of the discovery. Investigations were underway and a second trip to the site is in the offing.
"The history behind it all is really what drives us," Mazraani said.
The sinking of the U-550
The German submarine U-550 was built for World War service. On the morning of April 16th, approximately seventy-five miles south of Nantucket Island, the U-550 located convoy CU-21.
One of the largest tankers in the world, the T-3 tanker SS Pan Pennsylvania carrying 140,000 barrels of 80 octane gasoline was a member of this convoy.
The German U-boat torpedoed SS Pan Pennsylvania. It was damaged by depth charges from an escort vessel.
Less than three hours later the U-550 and 44 of her crew lay on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally 25 persons abroad the tanker were killed.