Video footage shared by the Coastal Studies
Institute and released by the North Carolina Department of
Transportation (NCDOT) gives an inside look on the examination of the
shipwreck that was recently identified in Oregon Inlet.
The DOT partnered with the University of North
Carolina Coastal Studies Institute to study what is known as the
Pappy’s Lane shipwreck. As the wreckage lies near the Bonner Bridge
replacement, the department committed to researching the sunken vessel,
to try to identify its origins.
Dr. Nathan Richards and graduate students from
East Carolina University mapped the site and researched the potential
history of the wreck using maritime records and what is left of the
Eventually they concluded that the ship was used
in the Pacific during World War II as either a landing craft infantry,
which used ramps to get men onto beaches, or a landing craft support,
which provided armed support for the landing craft.
Digging deeper into the wreck’s background, the
team discovered the LCS123 was sold as surplus after the war, then
altered and refitted to carry heating oil and diesel.
“Once you lose an archaeological site it’s gone
forever. It’s not something you can replant or renourish and have that
resource return,” said Matthew Wilkerson, NCDOT Archaeology Group
Leader. “I think North Carolina does a good job with its stewardship
responsibility with these types of cultural properties.”
Based on information collected, the department’s
archaeology group and the State Historic Preservation Office determined
that the shipwreck is eligible to be listed on the National Register of