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Scuba divers come from around the world to see the sunken remains of U-352. Despite the hurricanes that frequent the Southeastern Coast, the U-352 is mostly intact. The sub lies on her starboard (right) side at a 45-degree angle. A large hole in the side of the ship is from one of the Icarus’ depth charges. Thousands of silvery bait fish swim above the wreck, darting around the gun mount on top of the vessel. Fifteen of the U-boat’s sailors are listed by the Coast Guard as killed in action. After the sinking, the Icarus picked up the surviving members of the crew and transported them to the Charleston Navy Yard, where the Coast Guard had the opportunity to photograph the first German prisoners of war taken by the United States after the declaration of war with Germany. The U-352’s location remained unknown until 1975, when dive charter boat captain George Purifoy, and friends Rod Gross and Dale McClough, located the wreck. Purifoy had spent many days unsuccessfully searching by running a boat through grid patterns in the choppy spring seas. Then, on a morning in April, they finally found the wreck while using new Loran-C navigation aids. For the next nine months, the divers kept the location secret so they could recover artifacts from the sunken vessel. In 1985, Purifoy and his son, Robert, hosted a reunion for the surviving crew-members in Morehead City. During the reunion, radio operator Kurt Kruger described the location of his personal locker. There was a coat, camera and pistol there, and he asked Purifoy to retrieve them on a future dive. The next time he visited the site, Purifoy found the items in almost perfect condition. Kruger asked Purifoy — who died in 2008 during a dive at the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site — to keep them on permanent display at his dive shop, Olympus Dive Center, in Morehead City. They are now in a chest-high case filled with artifacts Purifoy collected from the U-352 before it became illegal to do so. The case also holds a hair comb, a porcelain plate fragment engraved with a black swastika, a tube of toothpaste and other small artifacts. “Everything was coated in diesel. They had to slowly soak it to get the diesel off,” says Dottie Benjamin, the dive shop’s charter manager. Perhaps the most impressive artifact in the case is a photograph of Adolph for only $13 per year plus tax, in New Hanover County only. To receive a free bumper sticker or sponsorship information: The Dove 89.7 FM PO Box 957 • Wilmington, N.C. 28402 Tel: 910-763-2452 Fax: 910-763-6578 www.life905.com • life@life905.com 52 WBM november 2015


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