The Beacon on Kill Devil Hill. From January to August of 1942, German U-Boats sank some 82 Allied ships loaded with ammunition, implements of war, and food supplies headed for Europe. Nazi U-Boats would sit off North Carolina’s Outer Banks and wait for the merchant ships to clear Norfolk Harbor. Like ducks on a pond, the U-Boats found easy targets because the lights along the North Carolina coastline made shilottes of the slow-moving ships. Read how the hill the Wright Brothers learned to fly was key to the German’s sinking so many ships.