German Naval Flag 

All photos, except as noted, courtesy of Carolyn Fields Snider  whose Uncle, Harry Fields was a member of the post war prize crew.

Captions on the back of a number of the photos were by Harry Fields a member of the prize crew.
Harry Fields, a qualified submariner, served aboard the USS H-3 SS 30, (ex-Garfish) during WW I.
The California Wreck Diver Association has also been very helpful in the construction

of this web page and their help is gratefully acknowledged. A link to their page is at the bottom.

"...Soon after the 11 November armistice ended hostilities,  UB-88 surrendered along with the other warships of the High Seas Fleet. They were interned - probably at Harwich, England - on 26 November 1918. When the United States Navy expressed an interest in acquiring several German submarines to be used in conjunction with the current Victory Bond drive and to enable American crews to learn their supposed secrets,  UB-88 and five other boats were allocated to the United States with the agreement that they would be destroyed upon the conclusion of the bond campaign. Naval personnel were dispatched from the United States early in 1919, and they took over the warship on 23 March 1919. Soon thereafter,  UB-88 was placed in special commission for the voyage across the Atlantic, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph L. Nielson in command." 

UB-88 in a nest of U-boats
UB-88 in a nest of U-boats
Four of the U-boats turned over the US at the end of WWI are tied alongside each other in New York's Navy Yard, sometime between April 27 and May 5, 1919.  The UB-88 can be seen in the center of the  photo. 
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

UB-88 in the Panama Canal
The UB-88 transits the Panama Canal, accompanied by the sub tender, USS Bittern. 
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

The UB-88 at dock in San Pedro 1919
Back of picture says:
"The UB-88 across the channel from the Base"

UB-88 with tourists
UB-88 with tourists.
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

"After a brief period allotted to the crew to make repairs and familiarize themselves with the foreign submarine's machinery,  UB-88 stood out of Harwich on 3 April in company with Bushnell (Submarine Tender No. 2 ) and three other former German U-boats - U-117, UC-97, and UB-148. That task unit, dubbed the Ex-German Submarine Expeditionary Force, steamed via the Azores
and Bermuda to New York, where it arrived on 27 April. Not long after reaching New York,  UB-88 and the other four boats became the center stage attraction for a horde of tourists, reporters, and photographers, as well as for technicians from the Navy Department, submarine builders, and equipment suppliers. During her stay in New York,  UB-88 received additional refurbishment in preparation for her participation in the bond drive." 

UB-88 in Portland, Oregon 1919
UB-88 in Portland, Oregon 1919.
The UB-88 stopped in Portland before moving on to Bremerton and Seattle.
Photo contributed by Rick Malerba

UB-88 Portland, Oregon 1919
UB-88 Portland, Oregon 1919
Photo contributed by Rick Malerba

UB-88 torpedo room. 16 Allied ships were sunk by these tubes.
Back of picture says:
" For'd Torpedo Tubes The little ink mark is on the For'd control
Kingston, used in flooding tanks for diving. There are (16) of these."

UB-88 torpedo room
UB-88 torpedo room
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

"Finally, orders arrived dispersing five of the six U-boats to different sections of the American coasts and waterways for visits to various ports along the way.  UB-88 drew the longest itinerary of the five U-boats. She was assigned to the ports on the east coast south of Savannah, Ga.; ports on the Gulf coast; the Mississippi River as far north as Memphis, Tenn., and the west coast. She
departed New York on 5 May in company with her tender, the Coast Guard ship Tuscarora. On the first part of the cruise, she visited Savannah, Jacksonville, Miami, and Key West. At the time she departed Key West, the submarine had to bid farewell to Tuscarora, because boiler trouble forced the cutter to remain there for repairs. Bittern (Minesweeper No. 36) became her tender and escorted the U-boat through the remainder of her voyage." 

Diving Stations

"From Key West,  UB-88 headed for Tampa, thence to Pensacola, and on to Mobile and New Orleans. At the latter port, she entered the Mississippi River. For the next month, she made calls at ports large and small along the great river. Though her schedule originally called for her to travel as far north as St. Louis, Mo., she made it only as far as Memphis before the rapidly falling water
level forced her to cut short her voyage on the Mississippi and head down river.  UB-88 returned to New Orleans on 1 July and entered drydock for repairs to her port tail shaft. The submarine completed repairs on 22 July and departed New Orleans to begin a cruise to ports along the Texas coast and thence to the Canal Zone. A breakdown between Houston, Tex., and Colon, Canal Zone, meant that Bittern had to tow the submarine the final 200 miles into Colon. After receiving repairs, provisions, and visitors, UB-88 transited the canal on 12 August. Following a two-day visit to Balboa, she headed north along the Mexican coast to San Diego and, after stops at Acapulco and Manzanillo in Mexico, reached her destination on 29 August." 

Back of picture says:
"Star'bd dive levers. The large gauge is signal gauge.
The small ones are air gauges from air manifold."

Back of photo says:
"Starboard Main Motor Control. This was my station.
To right, the wheel (top) shown is resistance's for bilge pumps.
Extreme left is mercury gauge for charging.
Meters (½ face) are amp & volt meters.
Little switch shown in center of board is separately exciting field switch for Stbd Main Motor"

Back of picture says:
"Enginroom str'bd engine shown. There isn't much I can
write in here because I can't show you in mail."

UB-88 engineroom with prize crew
UB-88 engineroom with the prize crew posing for ther camera.
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

Junk Removed from the UB-88 during dismantling.

UB-88 Pistons
UB-88's engines were removed for examination prior to sinking her.

"The last leg of her voyage took the submarine north to San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco in California, Astoria and Portland in Oregon; and Seattle, Tacoma, and Bremerton in Washington. On the return voyage, she stopped at San Francisco only, departing that port on 6 November for the submarine base at San Pedro, where she arrived the next day. After being laid up at San Pedro for four months,  UB-88 began the dismantling process on 1 April 1920. That operation was completed by 31 August, and  UB-88 was placed out of commission on 1 November 1920. The following spring, the U-boat returned to sea for the last time, and, on 1 March 1921, she took her final plunge when Wickes (DD-75) sank her with gunfire." 

The sinking of the UB-88
The sinking of the UB-88. The arrow shows the UB-88 as she slips below the surface.
This picture from the Los Angeles Times is likely the last picture taken of the UB-88.  Photographed from the Battleship New Mexico, it shows the stern of the UB-88 lifting up out of the water as her bow plummets towards the bottom.
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

Paperweight made UB-88 propellers
Paperweight made from the bronze propellers of the UB-88
Photo Courtesy of the California Wreck Divers Assoc.

For a more complete history of the UB-88, which the above excerpts
have been taken, you may click on the attached link below:

More on the UB-88 and photos online at
Lost Wrecks

Other pages by RD Designs, Webs of Interest™
 USS Flasher SSN 613 | USS Flasher SS 249 |
| The Saga Of the Submarine | Ric' Pantry |
| Ships and Tonnage Sunk or Damaged in WW II by U.S. Submarines |
| Fins Park | Through The Looking Glass |

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