Maritime historian and documentary filmmaker Kevin Duffus willl on “War Zone: WWII off North Carolina’s Outer Banks” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville.
Duffus will explore one of the worst Allied defeats of World War II along our nation’s eastern seaboard, off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The battle was also the subject of his three-hour documentary, which has aired on public broadcast stations around the country.
In 1942, the United States suffered one of its worst defeats of the Second World War, not in Europe or the Pacific, but along the eastern seaboard. Three hundred ninety-seven Allied ships were sunk or damaged and more than 5,000 people were killed, representing the American Navy’s worst ever defeat at sea. For six months, 65 U-boats hunted merchant vessels practically unopposed within view of coastal communities. The greatest concentration of these attacks occurred off North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
“Not many people realize we almost lost World War II on the sea, right here,” says Duffus, a part-time resident of Haywood County. “We’re living next to ground zero for U-boat attacks.”
In this multimedia presentation, Duffus presents the true facts behind decades-old urban legends of German spies, sympathizers, and saboteurs while celebrating the defensive measures and innovations with which North Carolinians reclaimed their waters and helped turn the tide of war.