The Sinking of UC1

From Curtiss through to the Felixstowe 'boats

The Sinking of UC1

Postby Queenie1911 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:22 pm

I have read several accounts of the sinking of the German minelaying submarine UC1 in July 1917. The majority of the accounts (J.M. Bruce, T.D. Hallam, Percy Clayton, Sturtivant and Page, Gordon Kinsey) state that it was sunk by an anti-submarine patrol of five flying boats from Felixstowe on 24 July. My grandfather, Flight Commander Arthur Cooper, was the pilot of the Felixstowe F.2c (N65) on that occasion and Lt. Commander John Porte was one of the crew. In these accounts three of the aircraft scored direct hits on UC1 with their bombs and oil, bubbles and wreckage were subsequently seen on the surface where the sub had gone down. My grandfather recorded the sinking in his log book and five years later he was given a prize bounty award of four pounds and sixteen shillings for his part in the action.

However, there are some conflicting accounts of the fate of UC1 which state that it was destroyed by mines off the Dutch coast five days earlier. This view is supported by Peter London in 'British Flying Boats', by J. David Perkins in his record of German submarine losses during WW1 and by the German website http://www.u-boot-net.de.

Does anyone know how and when this second version of events emerged? And if it was not UC1 that was destroyed on 24 July, which submarine was it? There must be records of a German submarine that was lost on that date but I have not found any.
Queenie1911
 
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Re: The Sinking of UC1

Postby AndersG » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:12 pm

I suppose you have also found uboat.net?
http://uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=UC+1

Asking on their forum might give good information. Given that the UC I class submarines were very small and carried no torpedo armament I think that their patrols were usually short - go out, deliver the mines and go back - so given that it sailed on July 18th it might already been overdue by the 24th - which may be a reason to assume it met its fate earlier.
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Re: The Sinking of UC1

Postby Queenie1911 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:27 am

Thank you. I have posted the question on their forum and will let you know what I learn there.
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Re: The Sinking of UC1

Postby Queenie1911 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:52 pm

I now have some information from a contributor to uboat.net which strongly suggests that the submarine attacked by the flying patrol from Felixstowe was not UC1. Apparently UC1 sailed on the morning of 18 July 1917 from Zeebrugge to lay mines off Calais. She did not return and it is unknown whether she got her mines out. The problem with the 24 July 1917 sinking claim is that it simply comes too long after UC 1 sailed because, as a minelaying U-Boat, she would have been expected back in Zeebrugge by 20 July.

The fate of UC1 remains unknown and she has never been found. My correspondent on uboat.net believes that the location of the attack (52°N, 2°36'E) could, however, easily work for an attack against the somewhat larger UB 27, which sailed on July 22 and did not return and he therefore believes that this was the submarine attacked and probably destroyed by the Felixstowe patrol.
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