2002 U-117 Photos II

All images on this page 2002 by Christina Young.

The U-117 was a mine-laying Imperial German submarine and was one of the most successful U-boats to operate in American waters during World War I.  Her more notable kills include such popular northeast wrecks such as the Sommerstadt (by torpedo - also known as the "Virginia Wreck"), the Chaparra (by mine), and the San Saba (by mine).  At the end of the war, she was turned over to the United States as part of the war spoils that Germany had to give up in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles.  In 1921 she was designated for use in air power tests under the direction of Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, the Assistant Chief of the Air Service of the United States Army.  On June 21, 1921, she was sent to the bottom by 12 bombs from U.S. Navy Curtiss F-5Ls in 230 feet of water off the Virginia Capes (approximately 70 miles northeast of Virginia Beach).

Information on specific WWI U-boats is a bit hard to find.  I found some very interesting background on the U-117's campaign of destruction off the U.S. east coast in the out-of-print book German Subs in Yankee Waters: First World War, by Henry J. James ( 1940, Gotham House).  See Chapter 6, "The Cruise of the U-117".  Interestingly, the book's final chapter is ominously titled, "It Can Happen Again"!  (see copyright date above)

The following pictures (all images from video) are from the voyage of the Miss Lindsey out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, to the U-117 on Saturday, June 22, 2002.  (Continued from Page I).

Another nice view of the picturesque conning tower.
Jackie inspects part of the wreck.
Charlie poses next to the conning tower.
After the U-117, the Miss Lindsey went to the Ethel C, a freighter in 190 fsw for a second dive (which I elected not to do, due to a slight pain in my shoulder that I was concerned might be aggravated if I did a second dive, and jeopardize my Ostfriesland dive the next day).  This is Jackie suited up and ready to go.... here he shows off his Seeker sticker (I wonder why the Miss Lindsey doesn't have a sticker as well)!
Jackie jumps in.....
....followed by Charlie.  It turns out that the grapnel had snagged a rope instead of the wreck, so they scrubbed this dive after they saw the situation on the bottom.
Tom Sawicki prepares to jump in after the wreck of the Ethel C is re-hooked.  One of those three stage bottles he is carrying contains bottom mix, a new DIR/GUE practice for diving deep wrecks.
Tom jumps in with his stage bottles and scooter!

I hope you have enjoyed these pictures of our trip to the U-117 and Ethel C, see the pictures of our dive to the WWI German heavy battleship Ostfriesland the next day!

Back to 2002 U-117 Photos I

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