Modern-day economics are stymieing efforts by federal researchers to detect whether a sunken, World War II-era tanker 12 miles off Jupiter harbors a potential oil spill.
The W.D. Anderson was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942, setting afire its cargo of crude oil and killing all but one of its 36 crew members.
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Where the U-boats Struck
In 1991 The Palm Beach Post began a four-year series of stories marking World War II’s 50th anniversary “window” (1941-45). On Feb. 16, 1992, it published a special section on the war coming to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. For that article, The Post obtained military reports of sinkings by U-boats off the coast of Florida. They had been classified during the war, and by the time they were declassified in the 1950s, interest in them had waned. As a result, for the first time, stories and a map documented where 24 freighters went down between Boca Raton and the Space Coast in early 1942, and for each sinking, details such as when and where ships were struck, which U-boats hit them, what they hauled, the number of the crew and number of deaths, and where the ships eventually ended up. NOAA researchers accessed many of the same archival documents.