WW1 propeller handed back to German Navy

4 September 2018, 18:25

U-Boat Propeller

A First World War U-Boat propeller has been handed back to the German Navy more than 100 years after its submarine was sunk by the Royal Navy.

The propeller was one of two recovered by North Wales Police in Bangor last year and is believed to have been illegally recovered from the wreck of the submarine UC-75 by a diver.

The U-Boat was built and launched in 1916 and credited with sinking 58 ships, including two warships and damaging a further eight, either by torpedo or by mines laid.

It was rammed and sunk by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Fairy in May 1918 and 17 German crew members died and 14 survived.

Today one of the propellers is starting its journey back to Germany, with the second one destined for display at the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth.

It was formally handed over on board FGS Bonn which is currently based in Plymouth for training following a joint operation between the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Historic England and North Wales Police.

In November, two Remembrance ceremonies, one in Germany and one in the UK, will be held at the same time to honour the fallen of both sides.

Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey, chief executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said: "These propellers tell a story of bitter conflict and human loss, but also of bravery, selflessness and love.

"It is fitting that they will now serve to remind citizens in both our countries of the realities of war and the personal sacrifices that inevitably follow.

"We in the MCA are proud to play our part in honouring that remembrance."

North Wales Police said a man received a formal caution in relation to the discovery of the two propellers at a property in Bangor.