WW1 1917 photo destroyer USS Fanning depth charging German submarine

$30.00 CAD

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Eastern Atlantic December 1917. The destroyer USS Fanning is depth-charging a German submarine. From a lot of photo postcards that also includes USS Paulding.

In the previous month one of its depth charges forced U-58 to surface and surrender. That was the first U-boat to fall victim to US Navy destroyers in World War I.

Written on front:

Explosion of depth charge  Give the Kaiser Hell - Dec 17-17”

Crease, small tear LR corner. Toned on back.

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


The USS Fanning (DD-37) was a modified Paulding-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War I. Fanning was  commissioned on 21 June 1912.

Based on Queenstown, Ireland, Fanning and her sister destroyers patrolled the eastern Atlantic, escorting convoys and rescuing survivors of sunken merchantmen. At 1615 on 17 November 1917, Coxswain Daniel David Loomis sighted the periscope of U-58, and the Officer of the Deck Lieutenant Walter Owen Henry ordered the destroyer to attack. Fanning's first depth charge pattern scored, and as destroyer Nicholson joined the action, the submarine broke surface, her crew pouring out on deck, hands raised in surrender. The depth charge had hit near the submarines diving planes, forcing the submarine to surface, and also knocked out the main generator aboard Fanning. Fanning maneuvered to pick up the prisoners as the damaged submarine sank, the first of two U-boats to fall victim to US Navy destroyers in World War I. 

Fanning continued escort and patrol duty for the duration of the war. Though she made numerous submarine contacts, all of her attacks were inconclusive. On many occasions, she went to the aid of torpedoed ships, rescuing survivors and carrying them into port. On 8 October 1918, she picked up a total of 103 survivors, 25 from a merchantman and 78 from the Dupetit-Thouars.