2 Jan 1944
21.38 hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: the boat was attacked by a Leigh Light equipped British Liberator (224 Sqdn RAF/G, pilot P/O J.E. Edwards). U-625 initially opened fire with the AA guns and a hit was scored on the port side of the aircraft, wounding the radio operator with shrapnel, but the boat then began to dive. The commander, Kptlt. Hans Benker countermanded the order to dive so that he and one of the crew could recover the Naxos radar warning device, but the boat continued to dive, causing both men to drown.
4 Jan 1944
19.34 hours, Bay of Biscay: the inbound boat fought off an attack by a four-engined aircraft. No bombs dropped, one crewman slightly wounded by strafing.
8 Jan 1944
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
British Wellington (179 Sqdn RAF/R, pilot F/O W.F.M. Davidson)
Following two aircraft attacks on the boat the day before, the Allies started a Swamp operation and at 21.40 hours Wellington flight letter "B for Baker" of 36 Sqdn RAF located U-343 southwest of Cartagena. She was then attacked by a Wellington from 179 Sqdn piloted by W/C J.H. Greswell DFC, followed by a second aircraft of 179 Sqdn. Wellington R - Robert dropped six depth charges, but several AA hits set the port wing on fire and the aircraft crashed into the sea, killing five crewmen. Only the pilot was thrown clear. U-343 passed close to his dinghy twice, but the Germans did not take him prisoner because they had "more important things to do". He was picked up by HMS Active the next morning and later received the DFC.
The boat had already sustained damage in these attacks, but there was more to come, as a Catalina (202 Sqdn RAF, pilot F/L J. Finch) then continued the attack. The aircraft broke off the attack at 23.00 hrs, and only then because the boats AA fire had damaged the port wing, fuselage and both fuel tanks, and wounded the flight engineer. U-343, badly damaged and unable to dive, managed to escape in the darkness, with only one crewman wounded by strafing, and after repairs reached her new base at Toulon safely.
9 Jan 1944
When the U-boat pens were hit during an air raid on Pola 4 U-407 crew were killed and 1 wounded. The boat next sailed on 29 Jan. [Oberleutnant (Ing) Heinz Weser, Leutnant zur See Eberhard Baumgart, Maschinenobergfreiter Rudolf Güttge, Maschinenobergefreiter Heinz Bönisch]
13 Jan 1944
While serving as a Flak boat U-621 was attacked by a British B-24 Liberator (RAF sqdn 59/A) off the Bay of Biscay, suffering 1 dead and 6 wounded. Matrosengefreiter Heinz Thomas was mortally wounded and later buried at sea. The commander decided to abort the patrol. U-621 took ten days to limp back to Brest.
22 Jan 1944
A man was lost overboard in the North Atlantic. [Maschinenobergefreiter Hermann Keller]
26 Jan 1944
The I WO was washed overboard in the North Atlantic. [Oberleutnant zur See Hans Wilkening]
5 Feb 1944
One man was lost overboard in the Mediterranean. [Matrosengefreiter Thomas Heneka]
6 Feb 1944
The IWO fell overboard and drowned. [Leutnant zur See Gustav-Günther Schoop]
7 Feb 1944
During the boat's trials in the Baltic near Hela one man died when he fell overboard while transferring to an outpost boat (V-Boot). [Funkgefreiter Werner Guhl]
14 Feb 1944
A British B-24 Liberator aircraft (Sqdn 10, pilot A. P. V. Cheater) attacked the boat with 8 depth charges. One man died and another was wounded.
16 Feb 1944
A Sunderland flying boat attacked U-546 in the mid North Atlantic. One man died and there was minor damage to the diesel engines, but the boat reported it was able to continue its patrol. [Matrosengefreiter Wilhelm van de Kamp]
22 Feb 1944
A Catalina aircraft (RCAF Sqdn 162/S, pilot Flying Officer C. C. Cunningham) dropped four depth charges and strafed the boat south of Iceland, killing two men. The boat was lost on the same patrol on 16 April.
24 Feb 1944
During test firing with the machine gun at the base in Salamis, Greece were two men killed (not crew members).
1 Mar 1944
During an air attack the boat suffered 3 dead and 3 wounded. The damaged boat reached Narvik, Norway two days later. [Funkobermaat Paul Kretschmar (died on 7 March), Bootsmaat Erich Junker Maschinengefreiter Heinz Schade].
11 Mar 1944
The boat was attacked by aircraft and 2 men were wounded. The boat continued its patrol after treating its wounded (a meeting with U-608 with a doctor on board did not succeed).
16 Mar 1944
The boat was attacked by an Avenger aircraft from the escort carrier USS Block Island in the Mid Atlantic. One man died and 9 men were wounded. The U-boat was sunk the next day.
26 Mar 1944
While out off Brest, France the boat was attacked by an unidentified Allied aircraft, leaving 9 men wounded - two of them badly. The boat docked at Brest (not her base) the next day.
27 Mar 1944
The inbound U-763 and U-960 were attacked by seven Mosquito aircraft (two Mk.XVIII from 618 Sqdn RAF and five Mk.VI from 248 Sqdn RAF) at the rendezvous point with their escort of two Sperrbrecher and four minesweepers off La Pallice. The Tsetse Mosquitos (L for Love, pilot F/O D. J. Turner and HX903/I Item, pilot F/O A. H. Hilliard) strafed U-960 and injured 14 crew members, four of them seriously, including the commander with a wound above the left knee. The boat claimed one aircraft probably shot down, and I Item was indeed badly damaged by a hit in the nose, but managed to reach base.
11 Apr 1944
During an air raid on Stettin 5 men from the boat were killed.
11 Apr 1944
On the U-1061 a lookout broke his leg during heavy weather.
11 Apr 1944
An accident required the amputation of a crew members finger.
21 Apr 1944
2 men died when they were stranded topside during an emergency dive to avoid an incoming aircraft. [Matrosengefreiter Alfons Robalewsky, Bootsmaat Rudolf Versic]
23 Apr 1944
During the Baltic exercises the boat lost one man off Pillau. [Matrosengefreiter Alfred Friedl]
2 May 1944
Two men were wounded on U-276 in an accident with the anti-aircraft gun.
6 May 1944
Two men stepped on a land mine near Stavanger, Norway. One was killed, the other wounded. The boat departed for its second patrol from Bergen on the 20th. [Bootsmaat Günter Labahn]
12 May 1944
U-154s commander, Oblt. Oskar Kusch, was executed on 12 May "for his anti-Hitler views" after his IWO, Oblt. Ulrich Abel,* reported him for sedition. He was convicted in late January. His photo is to the right.
* The former lawyer went down with U-193 as its commander when it was lost with all hands on 24 April 1944.
13 May 1944
One man was killed in an accident working in a diving cell while preparing for its next patrol in the Far East. The boat left for the patrol from Penang on 17 May. [Obermaschinenmaat Erich Adelsheimer]
16 May 1944
17.15 hrs, WNW of Ålesund, Norway: Norwegian-crewed Sunderland JM667 (RAF Sqdn 330/V, pilot S/Lt C.T. Johnsen) attacked as U-668 was transiting between Bergen and Skjomenfjord. U-668 met the initial approach with heavy AA fire and evaded the single depth charge dropped. Four depth charges dropped on the port side during the second run caused minor damage, and one crewman suffered a bullet wound. The Sunderland was hit by flak in the fuselage and starboard wing, damaging both starboard engines, and a shell which exploded in the cockpit killed the nose gunner and wounded two more crew. The Sunderland barely made it back to Sullom Voe on three engines.
17 May 1944
A crew member on U-1192 was wounded when the 3,7 cm anti-aircraft gun exploded.
21 May 1944
An attack by a Canadian Sunderland aircraft (RCAF OTU Sqdn 4/S) wounded five men.
23 May 1944
The boat was attacked by an enemy aircraft and damaged slightly. One crew member was wounded.
24 May 1944
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
Canadian Sunderland flying boat DV990 (RCAF Sqdn 422/R, pilot F/O G.E. Holley)
14.20 hrs, off Norway: the boat was attacked while searching for U-476, which had been badly damaged by air attack earlier in the day. The Sunderland was hit by flak during the attack run and and crashed into the sea after dropping three depth charges (no damage). The crew of 12 all died.
24 May 1944
Following crippling damage from an attack by a British Catalina flying boat (RAF Sqdn 210/V) on this day, the boat was scuttled on 25 May. U-990 saved 21 of the crew, but 34 went down with the boat. U-990 was then herself sunk by a B-24 Liberator on the 26th. Only three of the men from U-476 survived.
24 May 1944
After shooting down one Sunderland at 14.20 hours, U-921 was sighted shortly afterwards by Sunderland DW111 (RCAF Sqdn 423/S, pilot F/L R.H. Nesbitt), responding to a Mayday call, which had apparently observed the first Sunderland crash from a distance of about 12 miles. U-921 avoided the five depth charges it dropped, but strafing wounded three men, including the commander, Oblt. Wolfgang Leu. Oblt. Leu got both wounded crewmen below as the boat was diving, then closed the hatch, sacrificing himself to prevent the boat sinking. U-921 reached Trondheim on 26 May under the command of the IWO. (An American submarine commander was awarded the Medal of Honor for the selfsame act of heroism in the Pacific).
25 May 1944
An attack by an unidentified aircraft wounded three and left U-276 so severely damaged that she had to return to base.
26 May 1944
2 Mosquito aircraft (RAF 333/N/E) attacked the boat killing 1 and wounding 2 men. [Maschinenobergefreiter Herbert Frank]
27 May 1944
The boat fought a surface battle with 2 Soviet patrol boats SW of Poti in the Black Sea. Casualties were 1 dead and 2 wounded. [Matrosenobergefreiter Johann Wölbitsch]
29 May 1944
During the Baltic exercises the boat lost one man after crash diving north of Danzig. [Maschinengefreiter Johann Igel]
1 Jun 1944
During an air attack one man was killed and another wounded, who died a day later (Aulich). [Maschinenobergefreiter Matthias Giefing, Mechanikergefreiter Horst Aulich]
7 Jun 1944
An attack from a British Leigh-light equipped Wellington (Sqdn 179, pilot W. J. Hill) in the Bay of Biscay caused minor damage. A B-24 Liberator and a flight of Mosquitos also took part, wounding the U-boat commander and forcing U-989 to return to base.
14 Jun 1944
A Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333/H, pilots Erling U. Johansen and Lauritz Humlen) damaged the boat and wounded 8 of its crew. Two days later the boat arrived at its Bergen, Norway base.
15 Jun 1944
Following his capture when U-515 was sunk on 9 April, Kptlt. Werner Henke, one of the top aces, committed suicide by pretending to attempt escape from his POW camp on 15 June after being put under psychological pressure by his US captors.
16 Jun 1944
The boat was attacked by a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333/R). 8 men were wounded but the boat was not seriously damaged.
16 Jun 1944
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
The boat was attacked by a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333/R, crew Jacob M. Jacobsen and Per C. Hansen).
8 men from U-804 were wounded in the action. The air crew was saved by U-1000 on 18 June and taken to Norway for questioning.
17 Jun 1944
Two Wildcat aircraft from the US escort carrier USS Croatan made repeated strafing attacks on U-853, about 30 miles south of the carrier. The boat dived and escaped before the Avengers arrived, but had to abort the patrol due to the many casualties: 2 men were killed and 12 wounded [Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler, Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler]
20 Jun 1944
During an aircraft attack by a British B-24 Liberator (RAF 86 Sqd/K) on the boat 1 man was killed and 2 more wounded. The boat aborted to Bergen, Norway after this attack.
23 Jun 1944
A Mosquito (RAF Sqdn 248/P) attacked the boat. 2 men were killed 7 wounded. The boat was close to port when attacked and reached Lorient the same day. [Matrosenobergefreiter Karl Lohmeier, Mechanikerobergefreiter Friedrich Feller]
27 Jun 1944
An accident took place during U-1018´s work-up period in the Baltic on 17 June which killed 1 man and wounded 2 from its crew. [Obersteuermann Walter Nellsen]
5 Jul 1944
One man was killed and three wounded, when the boat was attacked by a Catalina (RAF 262 Sqd/L) in the Indian Ocean. [Matrosenobergefreiter Hans Boldt]
16 Jul 1944
The commander was wounded in an aircraft attack. The boat, part of a defence line off Norway, reached Bergen 4 days later.
17 Jul 1944
The boat was attacked by a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333/L), the boat was damaged and 5 men were wounded. The boat reached Bergen the same day.
18 Jul 1944
On 18 July a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333/K) attacked the boat, causing damage and killing 1 man and wounding 7 more. The boat reached Kristiansand, Norway on the same day.
19 Jul 1944
After the boat unsuccessfully fired torpedoes at a freighter, a corvette dropped depth charges. No damage.
19 Jul 1944
11.40 hrs, Norwegian Sea west of Narvik, outbound: U-968 was depth charged twice by a British Liberator (RAF Sqdn 86/R, pilot F/L W.F.J. Harwood), causing minor damage. Strafing killed one AA gunner and wounded six more [Bootsmaat Werner Hahne]. The boat returned to Bogenbucht for repairs and to replace the casualties.
20 Jul 1944
13.05 hrs, Norwegian Sea: a British Liberator bomber (RAF Sqdn 59/N, pilot FO D.A. Willows) on A/S patrol attacked after locating U-965 on radar. The Liberator passed two miles astern to take up a favourable attack position on the starboard beam. As it approached, the 37mm AA gun jammed on firing the first round and both men manning the 20mm twin gun on the port side were hit by machine gun fire [Matrosenhauptgefreiter Willibald Niederle died and Bootsmaat Lütjen was wounded]. Luckily for the U-boat, the depth charges failed to release when the Liberator passed over her stern because the lock-select lever was not fully engaged. U-965 then escaped by diving, and seven depth charges were dropped about 40 seconds afterwards. Two small streaks of oil, an oval life raft and two pieces of wood were sighted by the crew of the Liberator when it returned to the scene approx. 90 minutes later, but the U-boat was undamaged, and remained submerged until the aircraft departed. Mhg Niederle was buried at sea at 22.05 hrs.
25 Jul 1944
Two Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 333, E/F) attacked the boat killing 1 and wounding 7 men. The boat aborted to base.
29 Jul 1944
During an air raid on Bremen, Germany on 29 July the boat was damaged and 4 men were wounded. One of them died in December 1944. [Matrosenhauptgefreiter Fritz Grusa]
12 Aug 1944
One man was killed during an air attack on the base at Brest, France and another man was so severely wounded that he died a day later. [Bootsmaat Albrecht Sekula, Maschinenobergefreiter Helmut Laskosky]
18 Aug 1944
Three men were killed and wounded during an air raid on La Pallice. The boat left for her next patrol and transit to Germany on 23 August, reaching Flensburg on 5 November.
21 Aug 1944
During a crash dive at night (0017hrs) in the Bay of Biscay a man was lost overboard. [Bootsmaat Hans Reiter]
22 Aug 1944
The boat was attacked by two RAF Martlet aircraft (modified Grumman Wildcat). Three men were killed and eight wounded. [Bootsmaat Kurt Pesch, Matrosengefreiter Heinz Schade, Maschinengefreiter Thiel]
30 Aug 1944
One man was missing after crash diving. [Mechanikergefreiter (A) Walter Heise]
12 Sep 1944
One man from the boat died of jaundice in the North Atlantic. [Matrosenobergfreiter Wilhelm Lucksnat]
16 Sep 1944
The boat suffered casualties of two dead and three wounded in a Soviet air raid on the harbour of Libau in the Baltic.
17 Sep 1944
One crewmember took his own life with a pistol in the port of Gotenhafen.
18 Sep 1944
At 22.53 hours, the boat was attacked by a Leigh Light equipped British Liberator (224 Sqdn RAF/R, pilot FO P.M. Hill) in the Norwegian Sea. Six depth charges were dropped, but most overshoot and only one fell close enough to cause minor damage. U-1228 immediately crash dived after the attack, but the Schnorchel had been damaged and this resulted in a carbon monoxide poisoning of the crew, forcing the boat to abort its patrol. One man died. [Matrosenobergefreiter Matthias Mittler]
23 Sep 1944
In the Baltic Sea a man was washed overboard. [Matrosengefreiter Erwin Stiegeler]
25 Sep 1944
One man was lost overboard from the boat. It seems that he jumped overboard in the North Atlantic after a punishment for sleeping on the watch. [Matrosengefreiter Emil-Heinz Motyl]
11 Oct 1944
Two men were killed and one wounded when a torpedo exploded on board.
12 Oct 1944
During a Schnorchel failure the crew suffered a CO2 poisoning where 1 man died. [Funkmaat Gustav Hoffmann]
14 Oct 1944
2 of the crew were killed and 3 wounded in an air raid on Libau (Liepaja). [Matrosenobergefreiter Walter Steube, Maschinenobergefreiter August Großdonk]
22 Oct 1944
The boat was attacked in the Arctic Sea by a Soviet aircraft. Three crew members were injured and the boat suffered slight damage.
12 Nov 1944
One man from U-541 died on 22 Nov following an accident in Flensburg. [Maschinengefreiter Valentin Seile]
13 Dec 1944
During an air attack on U-636, the machine gun exploded, wounding four crew members.
Total numer of losses:
249 men in 76 incidents (76 dead and 173 wounded)
Return to U-boat Crew Casualties