|Ordered||25 Sep 1939|
|Laid down||6 Dec 1940||Deutsche Schiff und Maschinenbau AG, Bremen (werk 705)|
|Launched||1 Nov 1941|
|Commissioned||23 Mar 1942||Oblt. Hans-Günther Kuhlmann|
|Successes||4 ships sunk, total tonnage 7,593 GRT|
Sunk on 30 July 1942 in the Gulf of Mexico south-east of New Orleans, in position 28.40N, 88.30W, by depth charges from the US patrol craft USS PC-566. 52 dead (all hands lost). (uboat.net, June 2001).
Previously recorded fate
- Sunk on 1 August, 1942 in the Gulf of Mexico, in position 28.37N, 90.45W, by a single depth charge from a US J4F-1 Grumman aircraft (USCG V-212/Y). (Dr. Axel Niestlé, 1998)
Notes. This may have been an attack on U-171.
General notes on this boat
The discovery of U-166 (June 10, 2001)
This boat was finally discovered and documented in late May 2001 after many years of unsuccessful research and wreck-hunting. The wreck was located some 45 miles south of the mouth of Mississippi River, by C & C Technologies, with their AUV, during oil survey work for BP Amoco and Shell.
This changes the boat's official fate, since it's now certain that she was lost immediately after sinking her fourth and last victim, the Robert E. Lee on July 30 1942. Their wrecks are less than one mile from each other.
She is of course a war grave now, and cannot be disturbed - and is protected by some 5000ft of water in this regard.
uboat.net had published a theory on the wreck's location a long time ago, and that theory is now proven correct, although most did not subscribe to it :)
Amazing videos of the wreck of U-166
Below are links to external websites with news about its discovery and a NOVA documentary first shown in May 2015
Discovery of the U-166
NOVA documentary about U-166
Annoucements related to this boatU-166 wreck located (9 Jun 2001)
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-166 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
There was another U-166 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 6 Sep 1918 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 21 Mar 1919. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about SM U 166 during WWI.