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Java Arrow Rescue

 Indian River County

This site is located in the EastCentral region of the state.


Round Island Park is located on A1A in south Indian River County at the St. Lucie county line. Exit I-95 on SR 60 (Exit 68) and travel east to US 1 in Vero Beach. Turn right (south) to 17th Street and then left(east)to A1A. Turn right (south) approximately five miles to Round Island Park on the east side of the highway.

On March 23, 2002, the Indian River County Historical Society dedicated a marker at this site to commemorate the German U boat attack on the USS Java Arrow. Attacked on May 5, 1942, by the German submarine U-333, two crew members died and the rest abandoned ship in a lifeboat. The Kitsis, a thirty-foot fishing boat operated by Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers, assisted in transporting these survivors to the Fort Pierce Coast Guard Station. Two other merchant ships were torpedoed that same evening off Fort Pierce by the U-333. Vero Beach author Rody Johnson tells the story of this rescue in his 1999 publication, Different Battles. Johnson’s father, Kit, owned and captained the Kitsis during this mission.