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Class: UC III, Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg. Keel Launched: 17 Mar, 1918. Commissioned UC-97,3 Sep, 1918; Fate: 22 November 1918 - Surrendered to the USA. Used for exhibition to raise war loans from New York, via Halifax and St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes. Sunk on 7 June, 1921 by gunfire from the US training vessel Willmette at Lake Michigan.

Specifications:Displacement: 491 (surf.), 571 (subm.); l. 184 1/4'; b. 18 3/4'; dr. 12 1/2'; s. 11.5 k. (surf.), 6.6 k. (subm.); cpl. 32; a. 3 20" tt., 1 3.4", 6 mine tubes, 14 mines; cl. UC-90)
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A German mine laying submarine that was captured by the British while laying deadly mines off the coast of England. It was brought to the United States for the purpose or speeding up the second Liberty Loan. This shows a section of the U-boat being raised from the water. It is a heavy piece of work and huge derricks are required.
Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH.
Newspaper text courtesy of Perrysburg Journal. (Perrysburg, Wood Co., O. [Ohio]) 186?-1965, 01 November 1917, Image 9, via
U-boats 127k HUN U-BOATS COMING TO U.S.. Image and text provided by University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Newspaper text courtesy of The Citizen. (Berea, Ky.) 1899-1958, 17 April 1919, Image 6, via
U-boats 619k Four German submarines convoyed by US submarine tender Bushnell, left Harwick, England for the United States piloted by American officers. Shows American officers onboard German submarine just prior to their sailing for America.National Archives Identifier: 45513771
Local Identifier: 165-WW-338B-39
Photo courtesy of
U-boats616k(Original Caption) 4/28/1919-New York, NY: Captured German submarines in Brooklyn Harbor.Collection: Bettmann/Getty Images, courtesy of
U-boats1.96kDate Taken: 4/29/1919. Original Caption: GERMAN SUBMARINES ENTER NEW YORK HARBOR. Four gray monsters glided past Miss Liberty into New York Harbor today. At each mast they flew the American Flag. They are here to boost the Liberty Loan.
The UC-97 appears above.
Photo shows saw-like knife in bow of sub for cutting cables and nets.
Insert image and text provided by University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Photo from Kentucky Irish American. (Louisville, Ky.) 1898-1968, 07 June 1919, Image 3 via
Photographer: Western Newspaper Union
National Archives Identifier: 45491138
Local Identifier: 165-WW-233A-10
Photo courtesy of
U-boats685kFour U-boats turned over to the U. S. at anchor in Brooklyn Navy Yard. They have been cruising the harbor for the Victory Loan.
The U-117 & UC-5 appear on the left. The other 2 boats are UB-88 & UC-97.
To the right Lieut. Vincent Astor, who returned home on the U-117, fulfilling his promise to bring back a German sub.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 04 May 1919, Image 53, via
1.14kFour U-boats turned over to the U. S. at anchor in Brooklyn Navy Yard.
From outboard to inboard: UC-97, UB-148, UC-5 & U-117.
Photo courtesy of via Daniel Hacker.
U-boats 1.40k UC-97 brought over by Nimitz after WW I. You can see the German naval ensign flying under the US flag and a "UC" on the side of the conning tower. The numbers are concealed behind a placard explaining what the sub is like other photos I've seen of her. The group is examining the deck gun. Text & photo from the private collection of Ric Hedman.
U-boats 442k Four of a kind.
From left ot right: U-117, UC-97, UB-88 & UB-148.
USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen &
U-boats92k A promotional poster for the Victory Liberty Loan. UB-88 and other former German submarines visited numerous U.S. ports during 1919 to help stimulate interest in the postwar Victory Bond Drive. NARA Photo.
Text courtesy of Warship Int. Edition # 3, 1986.
low-lying boat, the German submarine UC-97, made her way down New York harbor toward Sandy Hook yesterday afternoon. On her deck lay a wreath of laurel, woodbine and fern, bound with a broad purple ribbon bearing the words: "In memoriam Lusitania."
Near the mouth of Ambroso Channel the submarine's motors stopped, and the boat lay partly awash in the choppy sea. The skipper issued a command in a soft voice, and up went the church flag, the Stars and Stripes, and underneath these the German ensign. The crew gathered in a semi-circle about the wreath and uncovered. Then a bugle sounded "Taps." With the last note the wreath fell to the surface of the sea. Silent as her sister ship after her murderous deed of 7 May 1915, the UC-97 stole away.
Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Photo from New-York Tribune.(New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, 08 May 1919, Image 15, via
U-boats120k Another view of the "sails" of the three ex-German submarines UB-88, UB-148 & UC-97, taken at New York Navy Yard prior to UB-88's departure on 5 May 1919. Note the fresh paint for the Bond Drive, including in particular the serpent on UB-148's conning tower. NARA Photo.
Text courtesy of Warship Int. Edition # 3, 1986.
U-boats68k Starboard side view of the UC-97, circa 1919, location unknown. NARA Photo, courtesy of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society.

Great Lake cities are getting their first view of Germany's greatest war bogey, the submarine with the tour of the lakes by the UC-97.
Image and text provided by University of North Texas; Denton, TX.
Photo from The Corpus Christi Caller. (Corpus Christi, Tex.) 1918-1987, 24 July 1919, Image 1, via
U-boats125kAmerican flags flutter around the UC-97, circa 1919, as crew members undoubtedly shop at the Cornwall and Walton Store, located on Market Street in Alexandria Bay."
Soon, however, the U-boat received her itinerary for the Victory Bond campaign. Of the six regions into which the coastal areas and major waterways of the United States were divided, UC-97 drew the Great Lakes region. That assignment required her to negotiate the locks of the Canadian-controlled St. Lawrence canal system. UC-97's refusal to break with traditional practice on board a man-of-war and fly the Union Jack at the fore caused trouble at each Canadian port of call along the way. However, her commanding officer, Lt. Comdr. Charles A. Lockwood, Jr., who later rose to fame in World War II as Commander, Submarines, Pacific Fleet-stuck to his guns and was later vindicated by Canadian naval officers who applauded his pertinacious observance of time-honored naval tradition.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
Photo i.d. courtesy of Dennis Jaskoviak.
Photo by Robert Edwin Seger RM3/c, LST 506, courtesy of Kathleen Mayo Kendrick via Gary Priolo & fixed by Jim Kelling.
U-boats707kAn aerial view of UC-97 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, circa 1919. Canadian Post Card Company. Photo courtesy of Canadian Navy Heritage website. Image Negative Number PA-030314 courtesy of Robert Hurst.
800kAttached is a 3 photo PDF of SC-411 escorting the captured U-boat UC-97 on her Great Lakes tour. Most appear to be at Benton Harbor, Michigan. The sub was in the area in July 1919, but cannot find exact dates. Also attached a couple photos of just UC-97 from same collection.USN photos via David Wright.
U-boats NR German U-Boat Sunk in Lake Michigan
The first shot at an enemy craft in 117 years on the Great Lakes, was fired in Lake Michigan near Chicago when the destroyer Wilmette (IX-29) fired her guns on the German submarine UC-97 which was assigned to the United States by the terms of the armistice. Thirteen shots were fired altogether, but one would have been sufficient, as the first shot, fired by the same boy who fired the first American torpedo in the late war, was a direct hit. The illustration shows, above, the firing of that first shot, and below, the submarine as the shell exploded.
Image and text provided by University of Nevada Las Vegas University Libraries.
Newspaper text courtesy of The Pioche Record. [volume] (Pioche, Nev.) 1908-1925, 08 July 1921, Image 7, via

View the UC-97
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.

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