|Ordered||24 Oct 1939|
|Laid down||30 Mar 1940||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 539)|
|Launched||5 Feb 1941|
|Commissioned||27 Mar 1941||Oblt. Klaus Bargsten (Knights Cross)|
|Successes||3 ships sunk, total tonnage 14,689 GRT|
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,870 tons
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 16,266 GRT
Sunk 31 May, 1943 in the Bay of Biscay south-west of Brest, in position 46.35N, 10.40W, by depth charges from 2 British and 1 Australian Handley Page Halifax and Sunderland aircraft (Sqdn 58/R, 228/X, RAAF 10/E). 49 dead (all hands lost).
U-563 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Grönland (10 Aug 1941 - 23 Aug 1941)
Kurfürst (23 Aug 1941 - 2 Sep 1941)
Seewolf (2 Sep 1941 - 7 Sep 1941)
Breslau (4 Oct 1941 - 29 Oct 1941)
Panther (11 Oct 1942 - 16 Oct 1942)
Puma (16 Oct 1942 - 29 Oct 1942)
Falke (28 Dec 1942 - 5 Jan 1943)
Löwenherz (1 Apr 1943 - 10 Apr 1943)
Lerche (10 Apr 1943 - 16 Apr 1943)
Attacks on this boat and other events
5 Oct 1941
10.30 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: a Blenheim bomber (1404 Met Flt RAF/A, pilot P/O Jack Coleman) made a dive bomb attack, but had to circle to lose height and by mistake only dropped one instead of both 250lb A/S bombs on the diving U-563, causing no damage. The Blenheim then proceeded to patrol ahead of the original course of U-563, but instead came across U-565. (Sources: KTB U-563/ADM 199-1782)
25 Oct 1941
While preparing to attack convoy HG-75 the boat was attacked by one of its escorts, the British corvette HMS Heliotrope (K 03). The boat was driven under but the depth charge attack by the corvette was unsuccessful and the boat escaped unharmed. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 393)
30 Nov 1941
While outbound from Brest, France the boat was attacked by a British Whitley aircraft (Sqdn 502, pilot W. W. Cave) dropping six depth charges that damaged to boat so much that she was unable to dive. The aircraft then strafed the boat wounding the commander in the shoulder.The boat was able to reach Lorient, France on 3 Dec but was so badly damaged she had to be sailed by its crew to Germany for rebuilding. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 401)
22 Mar 1943
The boat was attacked by a Beaufighter aircraft in the North Atlantic and suffered slight damage.
7 Apr 1943
A British B-24 Liberator (Sqdn 86) dropped 3 depth charges on U-563 which caused only light damage, but 2 men were lost when the boat dived. [Oberbootsmaat Christian Wieland, Matrosengefreiter Rudolf Schädlich]
5 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-563 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 2 emblem entry for this boat! See the emblem page for this boat or view each one below.
Devil with Torpedo