Following the United States entrance into World War II in 1942, the battle for the north Atlantic was going poorly. Over 600 ships and six million tons of shipping were destroyed by German U-boats. These engagements became known as a wild turkey shoot. Vessels offshore from Morehead City and Beaufort were seen damaged and sinking on a daily basis; they were often attacked by German forces during the night. The Morehead City hospital was expanded to increase services to burned and injured sailors.