U-1105 Potomac River Buoy

U-1105 Black Panter was one of the world’s first stealth submarines. Surrendered to the Allies it was first studied by the British before being turned over to the Americans. The secret rubber coating was very damaged in the Atlantic crossing. Of no operational use, it was used as a demolition and salvage target before it’s final sinking.

Temporarily lost to the public by a transcription error, it’s currently located in the Potomac River. U-1105 is BAREG’s closest u-boat wreck and we visit this site several times per year. BAREG members assist with maintenance on the buoy. Working volunteers are required to complete the waiver contained in Appendix A “MARYLAND MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY PROGRAM (MMAP) DIVING SAFETY POLICY AND MANUAL” with their doctor. MMAP waiver is not required for divers not performing work.

U-1105 Wreck

Despite it’s relatively shallow 65-95′ depth, Potomac River current and water turbidity make this an advanced dive. It should only be attempted during slack tide. Lights are required as the river particulate doesn’t allow any ambient light to penetrate to the wreck. River bottom is extremely soft and covers majority of the hull. Bottom is not distinct and is more a of several foot transition from water with mud to mud with water.

In a change from previous years, a mooring buoy (shown above) is present year round rather than just during summer. To prevent damage to site anchoring within 500′ of the wreck is prohibited. A single boat up to 40′ is allowed to attach to the mooring buoy. This mooring buoy is offset 75′ from the U-1105 wreck. Divers should descend the mooring anchor chain and then follow the 3/4″ tag line leading from the moorig buoy chain to the base of the conning tower. [MHT U-1105 Dive Safety Brief]


The U-1105 ‘Black Panther’ (18ST636) 2021-2022 Maritime Archaeological Survey Report can now be downloaded here

Maryland Historical Trust – U-1105 Shipwreck Preserve Includes Air Commodore Derek Waller, RAF (Retd) history of the U-1105, MHT U-1105 Dive Safety Brief, and MD required procedures for diving.

Naval History and Heritage Command – U-1105 Official US Navy U-1105 page.

U-1105 Black Panther Historic Shipwreck Preserve – Official Site of State of Maryland Tourism

Hardcover or Kindle book on Amazon.com: German submarine U-1105 ‘Black Panther’: The naval archaeology of a U-boat