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This Day in Georgia History

April 08, 1942

U-Boat Attack off St. Simons

World War II hostilities came to Georgia when the German submarine U-123 sank two oil tankers - the SS Oklahoma and SS Baton Rouge - in a torpedo attack off St. Simons Island. A total of 22 merchant seamen - civilians hired by the government to work on ships carrying war supplies - were killed in the attack. Lt. Olaf H. Olsen, Sr., a member of the Georgia State Guard, took his boat out to rescue survivors and took a photo of one of the torpedoed tankers. The two ships were raised and towed to Brunswick for repair. After re-entering wartime service, both ships later were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean.