black and white side view of heroic
The USS Heroic (AMc-84), a US Navy Accentor-class vessel similar to AMc-77 (pictured) swept U.S. East Coast waters for mines laid by German U-boats during WWII. Photo: U.S. Navy
black and white photo of a small ship
USS Endurance (AMc-77), an Accentor-class vessel similar to the USS Heroic (AMc-84)

Ship Stats

(ex USS Heroic/AMc-84, Elizabeth B.)

Depth: 100 feet

Length: 97 feet Breadth: N/A Depth of Hold: N/A

Tonnage: 195 tons

Built: 1941, wooden-hulled minesweeper, Warren Boatyard, Rhode Island

Port of Registry: USA

Owner: Heroic Inc., Gloucester (1960)

Date Lost: August 21, 1969

Crew: 5

Sunk By: Fire Survivors: 5 out of 5

Significance: The site recently became a destination for divers. The sanctuary, in partnership with Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions, installed a subsurface mooring on this shipwreck.

Present Day

Two divers shine lights on a shipwreck
Nets drape the wreck of this former minesweeper, which was transformed into a fishing vessel after the war. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS

This fishing vessel rests on top of Stellwagen Bank in 100 feet of water with its massive diesel engine surrounded by parts of the hull, the trawl winch, the anchor and anchor chain, and other fishing gear.

Heroic Coordinates:
Degrees Minutes = 42-24.256 N 70-27.197 W

Mooring Buoy Coordinates:
Degrees Minutes = 42-22.351 N 70-22.214 W

a chain attaches a buoy to a weight underwater
A mooring buoy was placed near the Heroic to protect the wreck and simplify anchoring. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS
a diver inspects a shipwreck
A diver inspects the massive diesel engine that served the vessel throughout WWII up until it sank in 1969. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS

Historical Background

This fishing vessel was originally built as a U.S. Navy coastal minesweeper, with the name USS Heroic and the military designation AMc-84. The 97-foot, wooden-hulled vessel held a 400 horsepower Atlas 6-cylinder HM2124 diesel engine that provided a speed of 10 knots. It was armed with two .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns. The USS Heroic was launched in May 1941 and commissioned on March 25, 1942. After training assignments, the vessel began service in Chesapeake Bay where it served for the rest of WWII.

The U.S. Navy decommissioned the vessel in December 1945 and turned it over to the Maritime Commission for disposal in September 1946. Although information is not available about its roles right after the war, records do indicate that the vessel was owned by Angelo Bacchi of Boston in 1948 under the name Elizabeth B. It then changed ownership to B and C Fishing, Inc. of Boston in 1949, and later was renamed Heroic under the ownership of Heroic, Inc. of Gloucester.

a scan of shipwrekc
A side-scan sonar image shows the wreck of the Heroic on the sanctuary seafloor. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS

Heroic caught fire and sank 15 miles southeast of Gloucester on August 21, 1969 on its way to Georges Bank fishing grounds. The fire reportedly started in the engine room. The captain and four crew members abandoned the ship and were picked up by a West German fishing vessel, Tiko I, that was in the area. The Gloucester-native crew escaped unharmed. U.S. Coast Guard assets responded, but despite pouring chemical foam on the fire, they could not contain the blaze. The ship sank to the bottom some 25 miles northwest of Provincetown, Massachusetts.


a diver swims over a pieces of wood from a shipwreck
Documentation of the wreck includes photographing its parts, including the wooden hull. Periodic images give indications of changing conditions and threats. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS
part of a shipwreck covered in marine growth
Stalked tunicates grow on Heroic's trawl winch. Photo: NOAA/SBNMS