U-Boats Off the Outer Banks, The Recovery of the M4 Enigma Machine

Richard K. Lore Lecture

Author, Oceanographer, Diver, Jim Bunch

Historical Society’s Free Richard K. Lore Lecture by Oceanographer and Author Jim Bunch

Hitler declared war on the United States on Dec. 11, 1941 – four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  German U-boats soon began crossing the Atlantic and sinking American ships along the North Carolina coast. During that time period, the German navy used a cipher machine called Enigma to encipher and decipher messages. The machine was onboard of the U-85, one of the U-boats operating off the coast of the Outer Banks, and went down with the ship when it sank in April of 1942. The Enigma machine was not recovered and remained entombed in the U-boat until 2001 when it was found by a team of local divers. Sunday, November 12 at 2pm at the Cullman Performance Hall at the North Carolina History Center, you’ll hear a first- hand account by Jim Bunch at this year’s Richard K. Lore Lecture for the New Bern Historical Society. This is a free lecture, but reservations are recommended.

In this fascinating program oral history program, oceanographer, scuba diver and author Jim Bunch describes his efforts in the research, diving, discovery, and recovery of this machine. The presentation also outlines how the Enigma Machine works and its significance in World War II. The recovered Enigma machine is currently on display at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum where it was donated by the dive team and the German Government.

Specializing in oceanography, Jim Bunch earned degrees in marine biology from the University of Miami and from Old Dominion Institute of Oceanography. He worked as an oceanographer for the federal government for many years. Currently, he is Recreational Diving Chair for NOAA’s Monitor Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. As part of his work, he recently explored the three u-boats located just off the NC coast, and is involved in planning their future placement of the Register of Historic Places. An active scuba instructor for 20 years, he has certified hundreds of divers interested in visiting North Carolina shipwrecks. He received the Scuba Schools International Pro5000 award in 1994 for making 5000 dives. He is the author of three books, the 1986 Diving the U-85, the 2003 U-85 Shadow in the Sea, a Diver’s Reflections, and the newly-released U-Boats off the Outer Banks, Shadows in the Moonlight.

The Dr. Richard K. Lore Lecture is presented annually by the New Bern Historical Society as a free event for all those interested in area history.  It is in memory of, and is named for the Society’s long-time historian.

Join the New Bern Historical Society and hear this fascinating speaker, Sunday, November 12th for this free event. No tickets or reservations are necessary. This lecture is presented by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace, and is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education.  Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad Street in New Bern.  For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go NewBernHistorical.org or Facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.

Submitted by: Kathy Morrison, New Bern Historical Society

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