Uc-55 [Possibly]: North Sea

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Alternative Names U55; Uc55; C34; C-34; Mousa Light; '6 Miles East Of Lerwick, Off Helliness'; Helli Ness; Uc-55
Canmore ID 102953
Site Number HU53SE 8001
NGR HU 5758 3026
Former District MARITIME
Datum Datum not recorded
Form Wreck
Latitude N 60 3.2167
Longitude W 0 57.95

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Archaeological Notes

HU53SE 8001 5758 3026
N60 3.2167 W0 57.95

NLO: Lerwick [name: HU 475 415]
Helli Ness [name: HU 462 286]
Mousa [name centred HU 460 240].

Quality of fix = EDM
Evidence = Echo sounder
Horizontal Datum = OGB
General water depth = 103
Orientation of keel/wreck = 015/195

Circumstances of Loss Details
The German submarine U55 was sunk by depth charges and gunfire from HM ships TYRADE, SYLVIA and the trawler MORAVIA.
Source: Warships of World War I.

Surveying Details
9 November 1970. A request to purchase the submarine was made by C J Oldfield.

18 December 1985. The site was examined on 3 July 1985 at 60 03 13N, 000 57 57W or decca [n scot] red a 8.15, green f 34.65, purple d 64.50. The least echosounder depth was 97 in a general depth of 103 metres. No scouring was observed. The side scan sonar indicated a height of 5.6 metres, length of 50 metres (164 feet) and beam of 10 metres (32 feet). The vessel is lying with its keel on an orientation of 015/195 degrees. The sonar trace indicates apparently a submarine.
Report by Naval Party

Note: this could also possibly be the wreck of the British submarine C34 - see 59 51 00N, 001 05 00W.
[For this vessel, see HU50NW 8001].

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as Submarine : date of loss cited as 29 September 1917). UC-55: this vessel was depth-charged 6 miles East of Lerwick, off Helliness [Helli Ness]. 10 dead.
Registration: German. 498 tons displacement. Length: 52m. Beam: 5m.
(Location of loss cited as N60 2.0 W0 57.0).
I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 162/173ft (49.3/52.7m)
Beam: 17ft (5.2m)
Displacement: 400/434-480/511 tons
Propulsion: diesel engines; two propellers; 500-600/460-620 hp; 11.5-12/6.6-7.4 kts
Armament: 3 x 19.7in (500mm) torpedo tubes (2 bow above water, 1 stern); 1 3.4in (86mm) gun; 18 mines in 6 vertically-inclined tubes
Complement: 26/28
The identity cited by the Hydrographic Office for this loss is evidently incorrect. Le Fleming identifies what is evidently this boat as UC55 (rather than U55) and records her sinking 'off Lerwick' in 1917.
This boat was a unit of the 64-strong UCII class of coastal minelaying submarine, and was built at Danzig Dockyard in 1916. Significant variations apparently existed within the class but are not individually cited in the available literature.
Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 25 February 2004.
H M Le Fleming 1961; [Jane] 2001.


Project Project Adair - Whittaker data upload.

Notes Whittaker ID : 716
Name : UC-55
Latitude : 600200
Longitude : 5700
Registration : GERMAN
Tonnage : 498
Tonnage Code : D
Length : 52
Beam : 5
Draught : 4m
Position : Position Approximate
Loss Day : 29
Loss Month : 9
Loss Year : 1917
Comment : Depth charged 6 miles east of Lerwick, off Helliness. 10 dead

Further details

Books and References

Baird, R N (2003) Shipwrecks of the North of Scotland, Edinburgh
Page(s): 286-287 Held at RCAHMS E.5.14.BAI

Larn and Larn, R and B (1998) Shipwreck index of the British Isles: volume 4, Scotland, London
Page(s): DE 29/09/1917 Held at RCAHMS E.5.14.LAR

Le Fleming, H M (1961) ABC warships of World War 1, London
Page(s): 350

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