List of all U-boats




Ordered21 Nov 1940
Laid down4 Apr 1941 Nordseewerke, Emden (werk 210)
Launched20 Apr 1942
Commissioned25 Jun 1942Oblt. Manfred Kinzel
25 Jun 1942 - 20 Sep 1943  Kptlt. Manfred Kinzel
3 patrols
25 Jun 1942-28 Feb 1943  8. Flottille (training)
1 Mar 1943-20 Sep 1943  7. Flottille (active service)
Successes4 ships sunk, total tonnage 21,927 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 7,134 GRT

Listed as missing in the North Atlantic on 20 Sept 1943 in approximate position 57N, 30W.

No explanation exists for its loss. 51 dead (all hands lost). (FDS/NHB, October 1992).

Loss position

See the 5 ships hit by U-338 - View the 3 war patrols

The loss of U-338
U-338 reported for the last time on 20 Sept, 1943 from position 57.20N, 30.00W during operations against convoys ON.202/ONS.18.

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk 20 Sept, 1943 south-west of Iceland, in position 57.40N, 29.48W, a homing torpedo from a British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 120/F). (Postwar assessment)
    Notes. This attack was actually against U-386 inflicting no damage.

Wolfpack operations

U-338 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Stürmer (11 Mar 1943 - 19 Mar 1943)
   Leuthen (15 Sep 1943 - 20 Sep 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

22 Mar 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:British Halifax (RAF Sqdn 502/B, pilot P/O L.J. McCulloch)

09.58 hours, outer Bay of Biscay, inbound: although the boat was surprised by the Halifax, accurate AA fire during the attack run meant the stick of bombs fell wide, and only one detonating near the bow caused some light damage. The Halifax was hit in the outer starboard engine and fuselage and was seen to crash into the sea some distance away. Australian Sgt H.C. Taylor was rescued by U-338 and taken prisoner, the sole survivor of the crew of eight.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

17 Jun 1943
A B-17 Fortress (Sqdn 206/F) killed the Obersteuermann and wounded 3 men during an attack that damaged the boat. [Obersteuermann Paul Trefflich]

2 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

The U-338 was nicknamed the Wild Onager in reference to an incident that occurred when it was first launched. Apparently, the U-boat broke its moorings on the day of launch and sank a small tug boat. The boat then displayed this emblem seen on the left that was later also utilized for the 29th Flotilla located in the Mediterranean.

Men lost from the boat

17 Jun 1943
A B-17 Fortress (Sqdn 206/F) killed the Obersteuermann and wounded 3 men during an attack that damaged the boat. [Obersteuermann Paul Trefflich]

  Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -

U-boat Emblems

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

The Wild Onager - U-338

Media links

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

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel