Monday, May 29, 2006

 

Big-bucks compass appraisal doesn’t wreck his day

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Boston Herald
By Gabriel Leiner
May 26, 2006


Earl King of Norton “hit the jackpot” with a compass he salvaged from the wreck of a U-boat, but the German government may be gunning for the sunken booty.

The former firefighter said an appraiser just told him the gyrocompass he removed from the submarine U-853, sunk off Block Island in 1945, is worth tens of thousands of dollars. (He wants to keep the actual figure a secret for now.)

“I’m not keeping it in my car anymore, that’s for sure,” King added.

He came upon his waterlogged treasure on July 4, 1973, with a dive partner. Both men ventured out to the wreck and King cut loose the compass from inside the vessel and lugged it to the surface.

The U-853 is the only documented World War II sinking of a German submarine close to the New England shore. The Navy caught up to the sub a day after the Germans torpedoed a U.S. ship. All hands, about 60 men, perished.

Now the wreck is back in the news thanks to an eagle-eyed appraiser.

“I brought it in and the appraiser told me, ‘You hit the jackpot,’ he blew my mind,” said King.

King said he has written to the German embassy to see if they’ll bid on this golden compass.


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www.schnorkel.blogspot.com

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