BOSTON -- A commercial diver says he has discovered the wreckage of a German submarine sunk by an American bomb 4 miles east of Cape Cod in 1944, but is keeping the site secret to protect it from scavangers.
The Boston Globe reported Friday that Edward Michaud found the wreck of the U-1226 in 41 feet of water.
The sub was carrying a crew of 50 when it was sunk on Oct. 28, 1944, by a 50-pound bomb dropped by a plane from the Hyannis naval squadron.
Michaud said the wreckage shows the damage done by the bomb, but it appears the crew quarters are intact.
'Our great concern is that the bodies of victims on the U-1226 should be treated respectfully,' Michaud said.
He said he eventually hopes to raise it to put it on display. He also said he will try to interest the German and American governments in identifying the remains and providing proper burial for the victims.
He said artifacts would not be sold, and those that are not returned to relatives would be displayed with the sub.
Most of the frame of the 251-foot sub is buried in shifting sands off the Cape, but Michaud said its exact location is being kept confidential to protect it from scavangers.
Michaud said he is conferring with archaeologists to treat the sub as an historic site.
The only other wreck of a German sub known off New England is the U- 853, which is in 130 feet of water 5 miles south of Point Judith, R.I. That wreckage is a favored target of recreational divers, who have scavanged souvenirs including bones from wreckage.
Victor Mastone, the director of the state Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, said the discovery of the U-1226 is particularly significant because it 'apparently was on a spy mission. We may learn a lot about what was going on toward the end of the war.'
The presence of the sub off Cape Cod was discovered by a Coast Guardsman who was monitoring radio transmissions from the Chatham base. He alerted the Hyannis naval squadron and within six minutes, a single- 50-pound bomb was dropped by an airplane and the sub sank to the bottom.
Michaud, a Navy veteran, said the discovery was 'the culmination of a lot of effort and research - an awful lot of effort.'