Other names: Mob-FD 6
After having our first trimix wreck dives at DS Bessheim, we heard a story of another shipwreck right next to it. It was supposedly just a few meters deeper, so well within our limits. We had a poor echo-sounder at the time and suddenly had a valid excuse to buy a new one... we did, and look what we found!
The story of the UJ-1110 is quite exciting. The captain of the ship Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Kaden. He had been awarded the the "Iron Cross" of 1st, 2nd class in 1939 and then "Knights Cross" class in 1940. At the time of the sinking of the UJ-1110, Wolfgang Kaden was on his last patrol as captain of the UJ-1110 - and was to disembark in Hammerfest to take office as commander of the 11th submarine hunter flotilla.
Wolfgang Kaden was a submarine hunter captain his entire career during the war, and apparently he was quite good at it. Before taking command of the UJ-1110, he served as captain of the UJ-116 operating out of the Netherlands. Here he was credited for sinking the British submarine H-49 on October 18th 1940. Some time later he transferred to the northern 11th submarine hunter flotilla and took command of the UJ-1110. He was here involved in several incursions with Russian submarines. Kaden was credited for the sinking of the Russian submarine K-23 off Nordkyn on May 12th 1942. He was also credited for at least one more sinking, but the details here are unclear.
UJ-1110 sailed from Tromsø towards Hammerfest on July 9th 1942. Wolfgang Kaden was standing outside at the port side bridge wing as UJ-1110 approached Hammerfest harbour. At 18:54 the submarine hunter struck a mine placed by the Russian submarine K-21 (or possibly the K-3 who also claimed this sinking). Wolfgang Kaden was not seen again. The ship was cut in half by the detonating mine, and the bow section sank quickly. The stern section sank at 19:07, 11 minutes after the explosion. Wolfgang Kaden was posthumously promoted to Korvettenkapitän.
Hammerfest has the midnight sun from May 16th to July 29th, so all this happened in full daylight. My grandfather and uncle actually witnessed this, and stood at Fuglnes and watched as rescue boats rushed out to rescue the survivors.
The ATD first located the wreck in August 1998 while diving at DS Bessheim. Ole-Yngvar Krogh, Hans-Birger Nilsen and Frode Figenschou had one dive here in 1998, but no video was captured at that time. The next year we (Hans-Birger Nilsen and Frode Figenschou) went back and did a series of 12 dives.
Here is a video from our dives in 1999:
UJ-1110: Starboard side
UJ-1110: Port side
UJ-1110: Sinking July 9th 1942 at 19:07
The Captain of UJ-1110: Wolfgang Kaden
Other names: Mob-FD 6
Location: Finnmark, Hammerfest
Minimum depth: 60 m
Maximum depth: 75 m
Date lost: July 9th 1942
Souls lost: 52?
Year discovered: 1999
Year built: 1941
Shipyard: Ottensener Eisenwerke, Hamburg
Build no: 438
Tonnage: 527 BRT