List of all U-boats




Ordered23 Dec 1939
Laid down11 Nov 1940 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1009)
Launched1 Jul 1941
Commissioned4 Oct 1941Kptlt. Helmut Witte (Knights Cross)
4 Oct 1941 - 6 Jun 1943  Kptlt. Helmut Friedrich Witte (Knights Cross)
7 Jun 1943 - 28 Jul 1943  Oblt. (R) Heinz Beckmann
5 patrols
4 Oct 1941-30 Apr 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 May 1942-28 Jul 1943  10. Flottille (active service)
Successes23 ships sunk, total tonnage 119,554 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 265 GRT

Sunk 28 July 1943 in the Caribbean Sea, south of Haiti, in position 15.57N, 68.30W, by depth charges from an American Mariner aircraft (VP-32, P-1). 53 dead (all hands lost). (Axel Niestlé, December 1997).

Loss position

See the 24 ships hit by U-159 - View the 5 war patrols

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk 15 July 1943 in the Caribbean Sea east of Jamaica, in approximate position 15.58N, 73.44W, by depth charges from a US Mariner aircraft, P-10 (VP-32). (Postwar assessment)
    Notes. This attack sank the U-759.

Wolfpack operations

U-159 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Wohlgemut (12 Mar 1943 - 22 Mar 1943)
   Seeräuber (25 Mar 1943 - 30 Mar 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

13 Jul 1942
01.02 hrs, Bay of Biscay: a British Leigh Light Wellington (172 Sqn RAF) dropped three A/S bombs. The bombs fell close on the port side and caused severe damage, leaving the boat unable to dive. U-159 nonetheless managed to reach Lorient approx. 12 hours later. (Sources: Ritschel)

10 Oct 1942
14.41 hrs, west of Cape Town: an SAAF Ventura bomber dropped three depth charges shortly after the boat crash dived. Only minor damage was caused, but U-159 was forced to give up her chase of a freighter sighted earlier.

28 Mar 1943
In an attack on convoy RS 3 by Wolfpack Seeräuber (Pirate) off the coast of Spanish (now Western) Sahara, three ships were sunk and three U-boats (of eight) severely damaged. U-159 was hit by depth charges from aircraft. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 204)

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-159 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Circle with Symbols

Media links

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay