US town commemorates 100th anniversary of WWI enemy attack

US town commemorates 100th anniversary of WWI enemy attack
In this photo provided by the Orleans Historical Society, injured crewman John Bogovich is transported to the beach after a German World War I submarine attack on Orleans, Mass., on July 21, 1918. Orleans was the only town on U.S. soil to receive enemy gunfire during World War I. (Courtesy of Orleans Historical Society via AP)

ORLEANS, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts town has commemorated the 100th anniversary of the only enemy attack on American soil during World War I.

A German U-156 submarine shelled a tugboat near Orleans on July 21, 1918, the first attack on the U.S. in 100 years. The U-boat sent hits to the tugboat Perth Amboy and its four barges and left an hour later.

The commemoration took place Saturday evening on Nauset Beach. A guitarist led a crowd in singing “Over There,” a wartime song written by George M. Cohan in 1917.

The event was attended by descendants of Capt. Robert Pierce, keeper of the Orleans Lifesaving Station during the attack. Several people were injured but no one died in the assault or counter-attack.

The submarine attacked other ships near Canada but later disappeared.