July 21, 1918 – WHEN WAR CAME TO ORLEANS
1918 marked the centennial anniversary of the shelling of the Town of Orleans by a German U-boat. On July 21, 1918, the tiny town of Orleans (pop.1012 at the time) was shelled by a German U-boat making it the only point on U.S. soil attacked during World War I. The German submarine, U-156 attacked the tug Perth Amboy, heading south about three miles off Nauset Beach with four barges in tow. Several shells from the U-156 deck gun exploded on shore. The Perth Amboy was heavily damaged; its four barges in tow were sunk. Like much of the rich history of Orleans, this story is compelling, fascinating, complex, and often surprising. For more information on the roles of the Coast Guard, Militia, the Navy the impact of the U-Boats follow the links below.