John D. Gill

The John D. Gill, locally known as the Gill or WR4, is a casualty of WWII. It was sunk on March 13, 1942 by the German U-Boat U-158. Twenty-three sailors perished when the ship caught fire. It is located 25 miles off of Masonboro inlet and sits at a depth of 95 ft. It is a huge ship at 523ft long making it the largest wreck in divable waters. Time has taken its toll on the Gill. Rough seas are twisting the ship into an unrecognizable mass on the bottom. When setting a buoy to mark the site, the large concrete anchor smashed the midship to pieces. Now the wreck lies in two pieces with the bow being the most intact. Divers have been visiting the Gill for decades and have been pulling artifacts as rememberance. Numerous brass artifacts have been found including several portholes. A porthole was recovered as recently as 2003 so there is no telling what remains on the wreck.

The Gill is an incredible dive. It is a monstrous wreck which allow for endless areas to search. Marine life is awesome also, it attracts many tropical fish and sharks. There are many sand tiger and sandbar shark sightings. On two occasions I have even seen dolphins which entertained me on my safety stop.

Deck Plans of the John D. Gill


Archival Newspaper Articles (pdf)
Wilmington Star March 16,1942 Page 1 Page 2
Links of Interest


Edwin Cheney, the first Merchant Marine to be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for "Heroism beyond the call of duty" after rescuing crew members of the John D. Gill.




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