Man who helped locate the Hunley marking World War II military remains

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - One of the men credited with finding the Confederate submarine, The Hunley, is adding another major underwater search to his resume.

Ralph Wilbanks has helped map the waters off Normandy, France, marking the military remains of D-Day.

“You’re talking about the largest armada that ever sailed.  You’re talking about a real moment in history,” Wilbanks said of  being part of the historic research team.

About 5,000 ships were part of the Allied Fleet that sailed to the Normandy shores.

Much of what didn’t make it to shore during the invasion still lies off the coast of France. The underwater archaeologists mapped the coast off the five beaches the Allies stormed, documenting tanks and landing craft and other artifacts in the waters below.

The secrets that  lie in those watery graves will be revealed in a film being produced by France’s MC4.  Producer Nicholas Deschamps says a German U-boat is one of the 583 wrecks or pieces of wrecks documented in the survey.

The film will air in May on PBS, as well as around the world.  The 70th anniversary of D Day will be commemorated in June.

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