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Description

U-boat UB-91 was launched on 7 March 1918 and given over to the command of Wolf Hans Hertwig. The submarine undertook 2 patrols sinking 5 ships.

The UB-91 was surrendered on 21 November 1918 at Harwich. It was used, with a British crew in charge, for goodwill visits around the country, including Cardiff and Newport. It was visited by many local dignitaries, including the Mayor, whilst in Newport docks from 12th - 20th January 1919. The visits helped to raise money for local mariners' charities.

When the submarine was broken up at Britton Ferry in 1921, the deck gun was taken to Chepstow and now forms part of the town's war memorial.

Two vessels were sunk in Welsh waters by this German submarine:

The TAMPA was built as a Coastguard cutter for the United States Revenue Service by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company, Virginia, in 1912. On 6 April 1917, when the United States declared war with Germany, the TAMPA and other Coast Guard cutters were transferred to the Navy and fitted with heavier armament at the Boston Navy Yard. On 29 September 1917, the TAMPA left in company for Gibraltar with the mission to protect convoys from submarine attacks. The TAMPA subsequently escorted 18 convoys, comprising a total of 350 vessels, from Gibraltar to Britain steaming an average of 3566 miles a month.

Just three weeks before the TAMPA was lost, Capt Charles Satterlee had received a letter of commendation - "This excellent record is an evidence of a high state of efficiency and excellent ship's spirit and an organization capable of keeping the vessel in service with a minimum of shore assistance. The squadron commander takes great pleasure in congratulating the commanding officer, officers and crew on the records which they have made."

On 26 September 1918, the TAMPA was escorting convoy HG-107 from Gibraltar to Milford Haven. During the late afternoon, TAMPA parted company with the convoy after escorting it into the Irish Sea and proceeded to Milford Haven. Around 20:45, UB-91 sank the TAMPA with a single torpedo with the loss of 131 officers, crew and passengers. In 1999, the US Coast Guard Service posthumously awarded each TAMPA crewman a Purple Heart.

A few days later, the Japanese cargo vessel HIRANO MARU was attacked 200 miles south of Ireland. The vessel was taken in tow for the Bristol Channel but foundered.

A very special thank you to Brian Rendell for sharing this story and the photograph above.

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