Sunday, April 10, 2016

U-Boat off Jacksonville

On the evening of April 10[, 1942,] a surfaced U-boat used its deck gun to scuttle the SS Gulf-America off of Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The flaming tanker went down so close to shore that the departing U-boat captain gazed in fascination through his binoculars as thousands of tourists, their faces bathed in the red glow of the ship's fire, poured out of their hotels and restaurants to gape at the spectacle. "All the vacationers had seen an impressive special performance at Roosevelt's expense," Commander Reinhard Hardegen gleefully recorded in his log. "A burning tanker, artillery fire, the silhouette of a U-boat—how often had all of that been seen in America?"
David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999), ch. 17 

No comments:

Post a Comment