Gerd von Pommer-Esche
Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 37a)
|Born||22 Jan 1918||Nordhausen, Harz|
|Died||14 Jul 1943||(25)||North Atlantic|
|U-160||15 Jun 1943||14 Jul 1943 (+)||1 patrol (16 days)|
Gerd von Pommer-Esche joined the Kriegsmarine in 1937. He served as a R-boat commander with the 1st R-Boat Flotilla from March 1940 to Jan 1941 (Busch & Röll, 1999). R-boats were small minesweepers used in all theaters of war and in various roles.
Invasion of Norway
During the invasion of Norway Lnt. Gerd von Pommer-Esche's boat R-21 was in action in Oslo fjord at Horten harbour on April 9. R-21 was following R-17 into the harbour to deliver German troops to shore on the eve of invasion. R-17 was sunk after delivering its troops but R-21 manged to complete its mission and escape, although hit twice (Haarr, 2009).
He went through U-boat training from Jan to July 1941 when he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) at Bremen to learn all about the type IXC boat U-159 being built there. On 4 Oct the new boat was commissioned by Kptlt. Helmut Witte who would become one of the most successful commanders. Pommer-Esche became the First Watch Officer (1WO) of the boat and served in that role until Feb 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
With U-159 Pommer-Esche went out on 3 patrols, 208 days at sea, with the last two patrols being to the Caribbean and South Africa (Busch & Röll, 1997). U-159 was highly successful and during Pommer-Esche's service as 1WO they sank 22 ships (114,235 tons) and damaged one small ship (Rohwer, 1998). Witte was awarded the Knights Cross for his successes as commander of the U-159 during this time.
Oblt. Pommer-Esche went through U-boat Commander training with the 24th Flotilla from Feb to June 1943. He took command of the highly successful U-160 from another U-boat ace, Kptlt. Georg Lassen (Knight's Cross) on 15 June 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
First patrol as U-boat Commander
Oblt. Gerd von Pommer-Esche left Bordeaux, France for his first patrol as Commander on 29 June 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1997). Only 16 days later the boat was sunk on 14 July 1943 south of the Azores by aerial torpedoes from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft (from VC-29) of the US escort carrier USS Santee. There were no survivors from the crew of 57 men (Niestlé, 1998).
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Haarr, G. H. (2009). The German invasion of Norway.
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Gerd von Pommer-Esche
|1.||U-160||29 Jun 1943||Bordeaux||14 Jul 1943||Sunk||Patrol 1,||16 days|
Ships hit by Gerd von Pommer-Esche
No entries found.
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.