Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Allan R. Millett

Second Advisor

Robert L. Dupont

Third Advisor

John D. Fitzmorris III


During the Second World War, Germany unleashed a relentless U-boat campaign against shipping in the coastal waters of the United States. While most of this campaign was fought in the Atlantic Ocean, merchantmen in the Gulf of Mexico also received their fair share of U-boat attacks. The presence of the U-boats in the Gulf was brief but endangered vital merchant shipping, and the U.S. armed forces had to meet this threat. In nearly all aspects of defending the Gulf Coast and improving antisubmarine warfare, civilians participated with a will. Civilians were involved in reporting U-boat activity, monitoring coastal waters, reporting any suspicious activity, and performing numerous other tasks that aided the defense of the Gulf Coast. Even as the threat faded, civilian volunteers continued to act as coast watchers as a means to maintain home front morale.


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