This submarine was depth charged in 1942 by the US CG Cutter Icaras. U-352 lies in about 115 feet (35 m) of water, and sits at a 45-degree list to starboard. The wreck scatter is within a 100-m radius of location above on a sand bottom. This is the wreck that most of the people first come to North Carolina to dive. The wreck is small and intact and can be circumnavigated a couple of times during a normal dive. This wreck has become an artificial reef that is heavily populated with Hemanthias vivanus. It is a popular scuba diving spot for advanced divers. A replica of the wreck is on display at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
Disposition of the U-352 Site
Strangely, the salvage attempts conducted by Navy divers just days after the event were as fruitless as they were on the U-85 with regards to intelligence materials. Navy salvage vessel Umpqua located and dived the site but did not recover anything of military importance. Following the departure of salvage operation, and a subsequent depth charge attack on the site three months later, the U-352 was left untouched and undisturbed for decades with the remains of as many as 13 men interred inside.
In 1975, a group of recreational divers in Morehead city located the wreck of the U-352. It was discovered by Claude Hall, George Purifoy, Rodd Gross and Dale McCullough. Since that time the U-352 has been consistently visited by divers. The site itself has been met with some controversy over the years. The remains of unexploded ordnance was an issue during the 1980s. It was feared that in order to ensure safety there was a possibility the remains of the site would be exploded. However, this was mitigated by the Navy by removing external hazards and welding closed access points. This ensured no interference with hazardous materials located inside the hull and also served to protect the human remains. However, a diver eventually pried these hatches open and it has long since been accessible to divers wishing to penetrate the hull (Farb 1985: 193; Gentile 1992: 203; Keatts and Farr 1994: 97).
Souvenir hunters have collected a great deal of loose artifacts and some larger scale items such as the 20mm deck have been salvaged. The extent of degradation appears to be somewhat less than that of the U-85, but this may or may not be the case when observed in the field. Signs of human interaction and degradation to the site are key components that must be recorded in detail.