NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (AP) — Just before Nazi Germany surrendered, U.S. Naval destroyers sank a German U-boat 7 miles off Rhode Island in what became known as the Battle of Point Judith.

The USS Atherton and another ship sunk the sub after it torpedoed a ship carrying coal to Boston.

As the nation prepares to commemorate Veterans Day, few sailors from the battle survive to remind us just how close World War II came to U.S. shores.

One sailor from the Atherton, 89 -year-old Ken Homberger, of Quincy, Ill., says he never understood why the U-Boat fired on the coal ship. Germany was days away from surrendering and the U-Boat had been ordered home.

The wreck remains a popular dive site. A service held each November in Newport remembers the 55 German sailors who perished.

Shutterstock/Stephen B. Goodwin