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Afresh breeze blew across the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island on the afternoon of 7 October 1916, and the blue water was flecked with white caps. Narragansett Bay sparkled in the sunlight. The slender black ships of the U. S. Destroyer Force rode easily at anchor.
A submarine was sighted standing in the East Passage at 1400. She was flying the German man-of-war ensign and was identified as U-53.