|Ordered||5 Jun 1941|
|Laid down||8 May 1942||Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg (werk 360)|
|Launched||4 Dec 1942|
|Commissioned||24 Feb 1943||Oblt. Hans-Jürgen Lauterbach-Emden|
|Successes||1 ship sunk, total tonnage 1,517 GRT|
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 12,896 GRT
Surrendered at Bergen, Norway on 9 May 1945.
Transferred from Bergen, Norway to Loch Ryan on 30 May, 1945 for Operation Deadlight.
Operation Deadlight (post-war Allied operation, info)
U-539 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Rossbach (24 Sep 1943 - 9 Oct 1943)
Attacks on this boat and other events
21 Sep 1943
The boat was attacked by British Hudson bomber V9161 (RAF Sqdn 269/G, pilot F/Sgt E.J.L. Brame) southeast of Iceland. On the first approach the port aileron was damaged by flak, and the pilot decided to drop two 100lb A/S bombs from a higher altitude to force the boat to dive. The bombs fell close, but U-539 stayed on the surface, evaded the 3 depth charges that were dropped in the following low level attack, and then escaped by diving. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)
4 Oct 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:British B-24 Liberator (120 Sqdn RAF/V, pilot W/C R.M. Longmore, OBE)
11.38 hrs, the Denmark Straight, between Greenland and Iceland: the aircraft, escorting convoy ONS-19 was hit by flak on its first approach. Fires started in both starboard engines and the aircraft crashed, killing the crew of 8, which included the CO of 120 Squadron RAF. The depth charges overshot, causing only minor damage. A crewman was slightly wounded by strafing.(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)
8 Oct 1943
2 depth charges from an unidentified B-24 Liberator caused serious damage. This was the third attack on U-539 in less than 3 weeks. The boat reached port on 20 Oct. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 430)
11 Jun 1944
When shelling the Dutch tanker Casandra with the deck gun in an action just off Curaçao in the West Indies, the tanker returned fire, causing only minor damage but forcing U-539 to break off the attack. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 564)
12 Jun 1944
An American Mariner aircraft attacked the boat but she got away once again (hit by gunfire the day before from Dutch tanker). (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 564)
5 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
2 Jan 1944. U-539 became the first U-boat to go on combat patrol fitted with a Schnorchel submerged ventilation apparatus when she left Lorient, France on 2 January 1944.
This boat was fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus but the date of fitting or sailing date with the equipment is unknown. Read more about the Schnorchel and see list of fitted boats.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-539 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.