The entire Mississippi Gulf Coast is a treasure of arts, foods, and people that really make the place shine as a destination. Now it should be said that what little high school I did attend was done at Pass Christian High School so I have actually grown up around this area, and these guns were formative in my interest in U.S. coastal history. As a kid I grew up, always hearing stories about German submarines cruising just off the coast, hunting merchant shipping vessels. Those stories and the defensive batteries set in place to protect us from their attack was enough to get any kids imagination going. Such is the story of U-166 a German Submarine sunk offshore in sight of this battery. That Submarine is credited with the sinking of four vessels operating along our coast.
Vessels lost to U166
The sailing vessel "Carmen" was lost 11 July 1942. She was flagged from the Dominican Republic and was sunk with the loss of a single crewman. The steam merchant vessel "Oneida" was lost 13 July 1942. She was flagged from the U.S. and was sunk with the loss of six crewmen. The commercial fishing vessel "Gertrude" was lost 16 July 1942. She was flagged from the U.S and was sunk without loss of crew. The steam passenger ship "Robert E Lee" was lost 30 July 1942. She was flagged from the U.S. and resulted in the loss of 25 passengers and crew. The sinking of the "Robert E. Lee" was witnessed by a U.S. Navy Patrol Aircraft which attacked and sunk the Submarine. The wreckage of U166 was rediscovered in 2001, during an archeological survey taking place prior to the laying of an undersea pipeline. U166 lies in 5000 feet of water (1500m) less than two miles from the wreck of the "Robert E Lee".