|Ordered||5 Jun 1941|
|Laid down||12 Jun 1942||Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg (werk 363)|
|Launched||19 Jan 1943|
|Commissioned||7 Apr 1943||Oblt. Christian-Brandt Coester|
|Successes||No ships sunk or damaged|
Sunk 28 Nov 1943 north of Madeira, Portugal, in position 39.03N, 16.25W, by depth charges from a British Wellington aircraft with "Leigh light" (Sqdn. 179/H). 56 dead (all hands lost). (Axel Niestlé, September 1990).
Previously recorded fate
- Sunk by the British Wellington (RAF 179/L) on 28 Nov, 1943 in position 39.04N, 16.25W. (Postwar assessment)
Notes. This attack instead caused minor damages to the U-391.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-542 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.