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1918 Commemoration for Shelling of Nauset Beach

From Friday, July 20, 2018 -  08:00am
To Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 05:00pm

About The Event

On July 21, 1918, Orleans, MA was shelled by German U156 submarine of the Imperial German Navy, captained by Richard Feldt. On the morning of 21 July, U-156 surfaced three miles off Orleans and fired its two deck guns at the town and at the passing tugboat Perth Amboy, which had four barges in her tow. Perth Amboy was sunk, causing the barges to capsize as well, and founder later; the shells fired at the town landed harmlessly in a marsh and on Nauset Beach, giving the town of Orleans the distinction of being the only spot in the United States that received enemy fire during World War I. There were no fatalities.

Nearby Station No. 40 of the United States Life-Saving Service launched a surfboat under heavy enemy shellfire and rowed out to rescue the thirty-two sailors trapped aboard the tug and barges.

US Navy HS-1L flying boats and R-9 bombers from Naval Air Station Chatham responded; they dive-bombed U-156 with payloads of TNT. It was the first time in history that American aviators engaged an enemy vessel in the western Atlantic. Local history reports that one citizen of Orleans armed himself with a double-barreled shotgun and fired back at U-156 from the shore.

There will be talks by authors Jake Klim, Attack on Orleans and Paul Hodos, The Kaiser's Lost Kreuzer as well as other events. More details will be available at

Contact :
Category: Commemoration & Memorial Events


Location : Nauset Beach

Orleans, MA, 02653





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