I wanted to give you some interesting information that you can use in “oil spill conversations” with your friends…
If you have read my latest book The Heart Mender, you know the story is about a forgotten time in American history. During the first six months of 1942, German submarines (U-boats) were dispatched to American shores to prey upon supply vessels traveling from our ports to England. They were incredibly successful. Before Hitler called them back, the U-boat fleet sunk more than 800 ships in American waters with a loss of life almost tripling that of 9-11.
In The Heart Mender, an officer aboard the U-166 is betrayed and wounded while refueling close to shore one night. After making his way to the beach, Josef Landermann is found by Helen Mason, a young war widow. She ultimately decides to hide Josef and the story is about how they hide in small town America during the war and what ultimately happens because of that choice.
But get this…
After Josef’s untimely departure, the U-166 traveled the Gulf of Mexico coastline into Louisiana waters. The very next week, that submarine sunk the passenger freighter Robert E. Lee. Then, within minutes, the U-166 was itself destroyed by Navy planes.
In 2001, the very submarine featured in The Heart Mender was found by a petroleum survey crew. The U-166 was identified and is still virtually intact. It lies about 40 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana in 5,000 feet of water… And yes, that is almost exactly where the massive oil spill is currently located.
One more curious fact… The survey crew that found the U-166? They worked for BP. The U-166 will not be recovered. Considered a “war grave” and thus protected by international treaty, the submarine’s crew are entombed in freezing water, their bodies still intact. Only Josef Landermann escaped that fate.
Below you will find a video with very cool information (including specific numbers of sinkings) regarding that time in our country’s history.
I have also included another link to the television appearance I made last Tuesday regarding this matter with even more facts.
Enjoy having “fresh news for the conversation” when your buddies bring up the topic of the oil spill!
P.S. Please feel free to pass this on!