List of all U-boats

U-558

Type

VIIC

 
Ordered25 Sep 1939
Laid down6 Jan 1940 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 534)
Launched23 Dec 1940
Commissioned20 Feb 1941Oblt. Günther Krech (Knights Cross)
Commanders
20 Feb 1941 - 20 Jul 1943  Kptlt. Günther Krech (Knights Cross)
Career
10 patrols
20 Feb 1941-1 May 1941  1. Flottille (training)
1 May 1941-20 Jul 1943  1. Flottille (active service)
Successes17 ships sunk, total tonnage 93,186 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 913 GRT
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 15,070 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 6,672 GRT
Fate

Sunk 20 July 1943 in the Bay of Biscay north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 45.10N, 09.42W, by depth charges from a US Liberator (19th A/S Sqn USAAF/F) and a British Halifax aircraft (58 Sqn RAF/E). 45 dead and 5 survivors.

Loss position

See the 21 ships hit by U-558 - View the 10 war patrols

Wolfpack operations

U-558 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Bosemüller (28 Aug 1941 - 2 Sep 1941)
   Seewolf (2 Sep 1941 - 12 Sep 1941)
   Delphin (24 Jan 1943 - 14 Feb 1943)
   Rochen (16 Feb 1943 - 28 Feb 1943)
   Tümmler (1 Mar 1943 - 22 Mar 1943)
   Oder (17 May 1943 - 19 May 1943)
   Mosel (19 May 1943 - 24 May 1943)
   Trutz (1 Jun 1943 - 16 Jun 1943)
   Trutz 1 (16 Jun 1943 - 29 Jun 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

16 Oct 1941
18.25 hrs, mid Atlantic: the boat crash dived on being attacked by a British Catalina flying boat (240 Sqn RAF/U) in the vicinity of convoy SC 48. The single depth charge dropped caused damage to the gyro compass and the stern torpedo tube, but it was quickly repaired. (Sources: KTB U-558/ADM 237-187)

2 Dec 1941
While attempting to cross the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean the boat was attacked by radar-equipped British aircraft which also called in two surface escorts, whose subsequent depth charging caused extensive damage. The boat escaped but had to return to base. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 401)

14 Jul 1943
The boat was attacked by a British Wellington bomber (RAF Sqdn 179/M) off Lisbon. AA fire damaged the aircraft which dropped depth charges without damaging U-558. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

17 Jul 1943
The boat was attacked by a British B-24 Liberator bomber (RAF Sqdn 224/P, pilot W/C A.E. Clouston, DFC, AFC) off Porto, Portugal. The aircraft bombed in bad weather from 300ft (91m) using radar and straddled the boat with 24 35lb A/S bombs. The remaining bombs hung up in a second attack, and the boat escaped with minor damage by crash-diving. AA fire and splinters from its own bombs hit the Liberator 31 times in the wings, fuselage and engines. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

20 Jul 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: American B-24 Liberator (19th A/S Sqn USAAF/B, pilot Lt H.E. Dyment)

The aircraft was apparently lost with its crew of ten after depth charging the inbound U-558 in the Bay of Biscay. The boat was sunk shortly afterwards in further air attacks. She was attacked by five aircraft in one week, shooting down one and damaging three. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

20 Jul 1943
The sinking of U-558

Approx 1200 hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: despite having the port inner engine stopped by flak, an American B-24 Liberator (19th A/S Sqn USAAF/F, pilot Lt C.F. Gallmeier) dropped seven depth charges which caused severe damage and left the boat unable to dive. While the Liberator was returning to base, British Halifax DT642 (RAF Sqdn 58/E, pilot F/L G.A. Sawtell) dropped a further eight depth charges, which finished off U-558. The only survivors were the commander, the II. WO and three ratings. They were sighted by an RAF Liberator piloted by S/L T.M. Bulloch on 24 July and his report resulted in their rescue the day after by HMCS Athabaskan.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

6 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-558 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 3 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Sei wach

Holzauge

Coat of Arms

Media links


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay


In Some Foreign Field

Naisawald, L. VanLoan


Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay