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Black Panther Historic Shipwreck Preserve

Learn More About the U-1105 “Black Panther” Submarine

On April 20, 1944, U-1105, a modified Type VII-C German submarine, built at Emden, Germany, was launched to begin its brief and dramatic wartime career during the Second World War. It was a rare, experimental ship with new synthetic skin designed to counter Allied sonar devices. After a short service career, the war came to an end and the U-1105 was ordered to an Allied base in northern Scotland where it surrendered. The British later turned the submarine over to the United States Navy for study and experimentation in the U.S. After preliminary testing, the U-1105 was fatally damaged on September 19, 1949, and was sunk in 90 feet of water in the Potomac River at Piney Point by a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

In June of 1985, the U-1105 was “rediscovered” by a team of sports divers from Virginia. In 1992-93, with support from the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, the Maryland Historical Trust, and Sea Colony Aqua Sports, the site became the subject of an archeological survey expedition. Supported by financial assistance from the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program, and a cooperative agreement between the Navy and the State of Maryland, the wreck was designated as Maryland’s first Historic Shipwreck Preserve in November 1994. The Preserve is intended to promote the preservation of historic shipwreck sites while making them accessible to the public. Learn more about this interesting preserve at the exhibit at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park.