The threat of German U-boat, or submarine, attack was very real for coastal communities. Fortunately, vessels along the Maine coast were spared the dreaded wrath of the U-boat. However, other areas of the American coast were not so lucky.
This picture was taken by Sewall Merritt, a native of South Portland, from a life boat off the coast of New Jersey. Merritt was 2nd Mate aboard the Dorothy B. Barrett when she was hit by the German submarine U-117, one of the most successful U-boats to patrol the American coast.
Commercial vessels were often given advanced notice before being torpedoed by the German U-boats, but as the war dragged on, more attacks came without warning.
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