Californias WWI Submarine

The UB88 is the one identified German submarine from either World Battle I or II to be sunk off the coast of California. Laid down in February 1917 at Hamburg Germany, she was launched on December eleven, 1917, and commissioned by the Imperial German Navy on January 26, 1918. The UB88 was a Sort UB III submarine, in a position to carry 10 torpedoes, a crew of 34 and had a spread of around eight,500 miles on the surface at a pace of 5 knots, and vary of fifty five miles and speed of 4 knots while submerged. She was roughly one hundred eighty feet long, 19 feet large and displaced 661 tonnes when submerged.
After her preliminary shakedown within the North and Baltic seas, The UB88 was assigned to the First Submarine Flotilla, Flanders at Zeebrugge, Belgim, where she scored a right away victory towards the Swedish steamer SS Dora, sinking her with a single torpedo. She then carried out three struggle cruises from Zeebrugge between June and October, operating off the coast of England, France, Scotland and Eire. Sinking no less than thirteen allied ships, she survived a lot of attacks, including a number of depth fees, her principal periscope was rammed, and she suffered extreme electrical injury.
The UB88 surrendered along with the other warships of the Excessive Seas fleet on November 26, 1918, following Armistice day (on November eleventh). On March 23, 1919, U.S. Naval personnel took over control of the UB88 together with five different boats to further their “Victory” Bond drive, in addition to to be taught her supposed secrets and techniques. The UB88 steamed out of Harwich on April third, in firm with Bushnell, and three other former German U-boats (17-117, UC-ninety seven and UB-U8), dubbed the Ex-German Submarine Expeditionary power, and arrived in New York on April 27, where they turned a center stage attraction.
She was then paraded across the US, arriving at her remaining cease in San Pedro on November 7, 1919. Per the unique settlement to sink all the boats acquired as part of the switch, the dismantling process began April 1, 1920, and was completed by August 31. The UB88 was stripped clean of all valuables and artifacts, and officially positioned out of fee November 1, 1970.
The final chapter within the UB88′s above-water history ended on March 1, 1921 when she was towed into San Pedro harbor and sunk by the USS Wickes (DD-seventy five). The placement of UB88 has been surrounded in fable and confusion ever since, with many individuals claiming to know her location, having fished her, and even some claiming to have dived on her. It wasn’t until August 27, 2003 that definitive evidence of the placement of the UB88 was provided.
After greater than a yr of looking, Gary Fabian and Ray Arntz posted stills and video on their website ( ), finally confirming the existence of the UB88 off of San Pedro. The exact location of the UB88 nonetheless, was by no means launched, and so relatively little diving was carried out on her till July 2010, when Phil Garner independently positioned her, posting video and the small print of his search. In contrast to the unique discoverers, Phil posted sufficient clues in his report to permit others to pinpoint the placement, and open the UB88 to the local diving group.
I (together with Maciek Arkuszweski, Kim Cardenas and the Socal Tech divers) had the chance to dive the UB88 on September 12, 2010. Having reviewed dive studies and video from others that had already dived her, we had some idea what to expect.
The surface conditions were wonderful, and fortunately that continued underwater too. As we descended through one hundred twenty toes, the fishing nets floating off her stern began to come into view. As might be seen from the pictures, these nets have buoys embedded in them that raises them significantly shallower than the wreck itself.
We examined the stern part first, the visibility was glorious, partly because of the slight however noticeable current operating from bow to stern. I noticed a Flag Rockfish, one of many few I’ve seen domestically (and all deeper than a hundred ninety toes). It is at all times a pleasant shock to see such a fairly fish that would seem more at dwelling on a coral reef than in our local cold, relatively darkish waters. We then made our means slowly forward, pausing to admire the huge amount of life current. Every inch of the wreck is roofed with anenomes, clams and gorgonians, giving it the look of a wealthy crimson carpet. The wreck can also be blanketed in a layer of fish, that are in locations so thick that they almost obscure the wreck itself.
Just before the conning tower, we word the situation of a rectangular hole in the wreck, which is the very best (and possibly only) penetration point. For this dive, we elected to remain outdoors, but other divers did penetrate, recording video in the course of.
The conning tower of the UB88 is still intact, and stands proudly upright, lined in life. Additional, toward the bow, the outer hull has damaged away, permitting the inside stress hull to be seen, and providing residence for a good-sized wolf eel. Reaching the bow, we see that a portion has damaged away at some point, once more coated in fish, and providing residence for a second, larger wolf eel. We drift slowly again along the submarine’s length, barely kicking in the gentle present, taking within the sights. It’s really an superior experience to visit this boat that’s been submerged for thus long.
At the stern, we meet up with a number of the rebreather divers, the place there may be fairly a bit of particles. Swimming around the end of the strict, we marvel on the deserted fishing nets stretching high above us, at once lovely and coated in metridiums, but in addition a lurking death-entice for every kind of marine life.
Finally, it is time to start our ascent. We make our solution to the flashing strobe that’s affixed to the top of our shot line. Making our manner up the line to start our decompression, we take one last look at the wreck beneath us, as it slowly disappears into the darkness.
We definitely have an exquisite expertise to play over in our minds during our ascent, and there’s no doubt that we’ll be again soon to take more images and videos, and perhaps enterprise contained in the superior wreck of the UB88.