Dive! Dive! Dive into History!

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Dive! Dive! Dive into History!

Dive! Dive! Dive into History!

Dive! Dive! Dive into History!

Immerse yourself in Florida’s history as you stroll along the beach in the 2100 block of Ocean Shore Boulevard in Ormond-by-the-Sea. There you will discover a 75-year-old landmark …  an authentic World War II U-Boat watchtower.


Have an afternoon picnic at its foundation as your imagination travels back in time to a period when we were at war and the war was at our doorstep.

Five days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States entrance into World War II, fifteen locals, along with some New Smyrna Beach residents, took the qualifying exams for the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 44, called Flotilla 1-3 during World War II, manned the lookout tower in Ormond-By-The-Sea around the clock as they searched the coast for German submarines.  

German U-Boats constantly patrolled the Florida coast looking for the opportunity to sink merchant ships supplying the American war effort. 24 were lost. 3pic

Manned by the Ground Observation Corps with only binoculars and a telephone, the Coastal Watch Tower in Ormond-by-the-Sea was erected in 1942 and was one of more than 15,000 civilian observation posts constructed along our Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coastlines. The Corps responded to aid the sinking vessels and rescued those who were forced to abandon ship. At times, people on the beach could see these U-boat engagements. In addition to their responsibilities for patrolling the beaches of Volusia and Flagler Counties, they also conducted river patrols on the Intracoastal Waterway and patrolled the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean searching for harbor infiltrators and enemy submarines.3f05161r-poster

In June 1942, as folklore has it, a German submarine closed in on Florida’s North East coast and four German spies came to shore. They went grocery shopping, sunbathed and went swimming. They also buried boxes full of explosives on the beach planning to come back for them. All four were captured, two were executed and the two who revealed the plot to sabotage America, were returned to Germany. The FBI dug up and destroyed the explosives. In that same year, military police discovered a telescope, signaling device, and other evidence that spies had occupied the vacant home of Dr. William Sanborn in Boca Raton.


The tower was refurbished in 2004 and is located in the 2100 block of Ocean Shore Boulevard in Ormond-By-The-Sea.  You can’t miss it at a distance coming from the north or the south.    ~ Paul Sale



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