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A mystery of German U853 and its whereabouts

Harrison_Howeth
May 11, 2019

 

HISTORY OF CAPE HENLOPEN AND BEYOND

 

GERMAN U – 853 WHEREABOUTS A MYSTERY

 

 

Where is the German submarine U-853 ? The only real authority on the matter, Melvin

Joseph, is away in Florida on business and was not reached for comment. There have

been reports the sub was raised and on its way to Lewes, Delaware. Another report said

it is underwater off Block Island, Rhode Island, where it was sunk in WW II. Last

Monday Wilhelm Von Keudell the German council in Boston reported to have said the sub

was raised by Melvin Joseph Company and on its way to Lewes. Keudell when contacted

yesterday says he was misquoted last Saturday while in Newport to place a wreath on the

graves of the two crewman whose body had been recovered eight years ago. I gave the

information I had, which was two weeks old, that he thought she could have been raised but

the operation had come to a standstill but did not know why.

 

Joseph's wife was reached yesterday and she only knew her husband was trying to raise the

U853 but the weather and waters got bad and the had to abandon the project. The Block

Island Coast Guard knows of the attempt and the abandonment and gave the name of a New

York salvage company as the contractor, The Murphy Machine Salvage Company and tha t Joseph Contractors were a subcontractor .

 

Now comes a telegram to the New York Headquarter of the Coast Guard from the

Submarine research Associates of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, saying the U853 holds

unsafe explosives and not be allowed in any port. The German press council at the German Embassy in Washington, DC said his government had no rights to the submarine but his office was notified of the salvage attempt because there are 55 German seamen aboard.

 

Bill Frank of the New journal papers says the U853 is still on the bottom off Port Judith

with 53 dead including the skipper, Kaptainleutnant Helmet Sommer and that the stories of gold and cash were on board are inventions of the minds. Bill Franks story is in the Saturday Wilmington Morning News, Saturday November 23, 1968.

 

 

Abstract: Wilmington Morning News, by Susses Bureau, Susan Sternberger, Wednesday, November 20, 1986.