“Does any one know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?” – Gordon Lightfoot
Diving on a WWII wreck helps us connect to our heritage and gain insight into our past. When our favorite diving environments host a piece of history, it’s our duty as a scuba diver to honor this gift. Check out these WWII wreck dives, and help keep history alive.
The Thistlegorm Shipwreck located in the Red Sea was a British armed Merchant Navy Ship that was sunk in late 1941. While some WWII wreck dives have more marine life than artifacts, this wreck has both. When this ship was bombed, it was full of cargo to help Allied forces in Egypt. Some of the artifacts include locomotives, motorcycles, trucks and airplane parts. Now teaming with sea life, this is touted as one of the best wreck dives in the world. It was even documented in Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s book The Living Sea.
The USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia was a US Army cargo ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. This dive delivers a rich reef ecosystem. Warm waters and an easy entry make this a great dive for any experience level. The popularity of this wreck dive has not been kind to the structure of this wreck. Bring your imagination and your camera gear; you’ll want to do this dive more than once.
The U-85 German U-boat in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” North Carolina reminds us German submarines trolled US waters. Advanced divers will want a full wetsuit on this chilly dive. The boat ride to the site and the lower visibility are worth it because you’ll be able to log that you saw one of the first enemy submarines sunk by a US Navy warship in WWII.
While we’ve only listed three wrecks here, WWII wrecks are located all over the world. Check out the PADI Dive Shop Locator to see if you can dive some historical sites on your outing. Make sure you’ve completed your PADI Wreck Diver course before you go.
Diving on a historic WWII wreck helps ensure that the lessons learned from our past remain a part of our life today. What WWII history have you learned from wreck diving?