German submarine U-352 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for the German Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. It was launched on 7 May 1941 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Hellmut Rathke, with a crew of 49. In January 1942, U-352 began active patrols in the northern Atlantic toward the United States of America. Operating chiefly out of St. Nazaire and Kiel, U-352 was ordered toward the eastern coastline of the United States on 7 April 1942. The United States Coast Guard cutter Icarus intercepted and sank it on 9May. Thirty-three crew members survived, were taken prisoner, and served the remainder of the war as prisoners of war. The U-352 lies in about 100 feet of water off the North Carolina coast. She sits at a 45-degree list to starboard. This wreck is a popular scuba diving spot for advanced divers. A replica of the wreck is on display at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Being depth-charged, fired upon and finally left on a 120-foot bottom for six-and-a-half decades has not been kind to the U-352. Its outer hull has largely disappeared; what remains now is mostly the inner hull. Yet its skeletal appearance only adds to the mystery. To dive the U-352 today is not so much an exploration as a visit to a watery ghost.
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