Events on this day

31 May

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This is a run-down from several databases on our site. It's meant to give a clear picture of events on this date, all year round.

U-boat Shipyard report

Ordered (0) Laid down (3) Launched (2) Commissioned (2)
No U-boat orders on this date1941: U-219, U-617
1943: U-1272
1941: U-435
1944: U-2323
1941: U-502
1944: U-1278
These are commissioned boats. For more see our Shipyard pages.

Allied Ships hit on this date


 U-boatCommanderName of shipTonsCountryConvoy
1940 
 U-101FrauenheimOrangemoor 5,775   brHG-31F
1941 
 U-106OestenClan Macdougall 6,843   br
 U-107HesslerSire 5,664   brOB-320
 U-147WetjenGravelines total loss2,491   brHX-127
 U-204KellHolmsteinn 16   is
 U-38LiebeRinda 6,029   nw
 U-69MetzlerSangara total loss5,445   br
1942 
 U-432SchultzeLiverpool Packet 1,188   ca
 U-506WürdemannFred W. Green 2,292   br
 35,743
* Unless otherwise noted the ships listed here were sunk. (d) = damaged

See all Allied ships hit by U-boats during WWII.

Attacks on this day

1940

U-101. After a successful attack on convoy HGF 31 in the English Channel west of Guernsey, the boat endured an attack of four hours during which 34 depth charges were dropped. On going to periscope depth at 22.00 hrs, an armed trawler attacked again, dropping seven depth charges which caused moderate damage. (Ritschel)

1943

U-621. 18.42 hrs, mid Atlantic: While searching for survivors from U-563 sunk nearby, the inbound U-621 was herself attacked by a British B-24 Liberator (224 Sqn RAF/Q, pilot Robert V. Sweeny). The aircraft dropped 12 depth charges over two runs, causing severe damage to the boat. (Norman Franks)

U-198. A corvette escorting a small but well escorted convoy in the Indian Ocean attacked the boat and drove it very deep. No serious damage. At 19.43 hrs the boat fired at an approaching British Catalina (RAF Sqn 262/C) flying boat and then escaped by crash-diving, but subsequently lost the convoy. (Rohwer/Ritschel)


U-boats lost


1940: U-13
1943: U-440 +, U-563 +
1944: U-289 +

146 men died when those 4 U-boats were lost on this date. 26 men survived.

Survivors from U-boats almost always landed in allied captivity.
U-boats marked with + were lost with all hands.

- For more information on U-boat losses check out our Fates section.


U-boat Men Lost or Wounded

There were no men lost from U-boats on this date, 31 May.

- For more information on Men lost from U-boats check out this page.


Personnel Information

The following men died on this day:
Gustav Borchardt (1943), Alexander Hellwig (1944), Hubert Jeschke (1994), Werner Pfeifer (1993), Helmut Plohr (1993), Werner Schwaff (1943).

See the entire U-boat commander listing showing all U-boat commanders.
We might include more officers (Allied and Axis) at a later date.


U-boat departures and arrivals on 31 May

This section shows the U-boat departures and arrivals from bases on this day of the year. Current country names shown with harbour names. Boats entering port display days at sea during that patrol.


1941

Sailed:
From Lorient, France: U-141


1942


Sailed:
From Narvik, Norway: U-377

U-boats entering base:
To Kristiansand U-166 ( days)


1943


Sailed:
From Bordeaux, France: U-564
From Toulon, France: U-617

U-boats entering base:
To Bordeaux, France: U-340 ( days), U-707 ( days), U-952 ( days)
To Brest, France: U-403 ( days)
To Hammerfest, Norway: U-586 ( days)
To La Pallice U-231 ( days), U-760 ( days)
To Lorient, France: U-508 ( days)
To Narvik, Norway: U-625 ( days)
To Toulon, France: U-458 ( days)


1944


Sailed:
From Bergen, Norway: U-247
From Kiel, Germany: U-317, U-397, U-1007
From Narvik, Norway: U-344
From Stavanger, Norway: U-294, U-1060

U-boats entering base:
To Stavanger, Norway: U-276 ( days)
To Trondheim, Norway: U-673 ( days)


U-boats at sea on 31 May

Boats entering port on this day are not counted, but boats departing for patrol are. (+) indicates the boat was lost during this patrol.

1940

U-8, U-26, U-28, U-29, U-37, U-43, U-48, U-56, U-58, U-60, U-62, U-101.
12 boats at sea.

1941

U-38, U-43, U-46, U-48, U-66, U-69, U-73, U-75, U-77, U-93, U-94, U-101, U-103, U-105, U-106, U-107, U-108, U-111, U-141, U-147 (+), U-204, U-552, U-557, U-561, UA.
25 boats at sea.

1942

U-67, U-68, U-69, U-81, U-87, U-94, U-96, U-98, U-103, U-106, U-107, U-108, U-109, U-116, U-124, U-125, U-126, U-128, U-129, U-130, U-134, U-135, U-155, U-156, U-157 (+), U-158 (+), U-159, U-161, U-162, U-172, U-202, U-205, U-209, U-213, U-214, U-331, U-332, U-373, U-404, U-406, U-432, U-453, U-455, U-502 (+), U-504, U-506, U-507, U-553, U-558, U-559, U-564, U-565, U-566, U-569, U-578, U-584, U-586, U-588, U-590, U-591, U-593, U-594, U-652 (+), U-653, U-701 (+), U-751, U-753.
67 boats at sea.

1943

U-9, U-18, U-66, U-67 (+), U-91, U-92, U-105 (+), U-118 (+), U-119 (+), U-123, U-126 (+), U-154, U-161, U-170, U-172, U-177, U-178, U-180, U-181, U-190, U-193, U-195, U-196, U-197 (+), U-198, U-199 (+), U-202 (+), U-211, U-214, U-217 (+), U-218, U-221, U-228, U-229, U-232 (+), U-264, U-271, U-305, U-308 (+), U-336, U-341, U-354, U-377, U-378, U-409, U-413, U-435 (+), U-450, U-455, U-459, U-460, U-488, U-511, U-513 (+), U-515, U-521 (+), U-527 (+), U-530, U-535 (+), U-552, U-558 (+), U-561, U-564, U-575, U-592, U-594 (+), U-603, U-607, U-608, U-617, U-621, U-622, U-636, U-639, U-641, U-642, U-645, U-650, U-664, U-666, U-667, U-669, U-711, U-731, U-758, U-951 (+), U-953.
87 boats at sea.

1944

U-18, U-23, U-107, U-129, U-155, U-181, U-183, U-188, U-190, U-196, U-198 (+), U-233 (+), U-247, U-294, U-307, U-313, U-315, U-317, U-344, U-347, U-348, U-362, U-363, U-385, U-387, U-425, U-471, U-477 (+), U-490 (+), U-505, U-516, U-530, U-534, U-537, U-539, U-541, U-543 (+), U-547, U-548, U-586, U-668, U-671, U-711, U-719 (+), U-737, U-742, U-767 (+), U-843, U-853, U-857, U-859 (+), U-860 (+), U-861, U-952, U-955 (+), U-957, U-987 (+), U-988 (+), U-997, U-1061, U-1191 (+), U-1222 (+).
62 boats at sea.

1945

U-530, U-977, U-1277 (+).
3 boats at sea.


General Events on 31 May

1942

During the summer of 1942, when under the command of Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff, U-511 took part in one of the most interesting experiments of the entire war. Steinhoff's brother, Dr. Erich Steinhoff, was working at Peenemünde on the rocket program, and between them they arranged for U-511 to be used for rocket trials. A rack for six 30 cm rockets was installed and extensive tests carried out. These concluded with the successful launch of rockets from a depth of 12m (40ft). These amazing tests failed to convince Dönitz's staff of the merit of this innovatory weapon system, and it was not put into service. The rocket in question, the 30cm Wurfkörper 42 Spreng, was not advanced enough to target ships, but it might have been used to bombard shore installations such as oil refineries in the Caribbean. This idea was developed in late 1944 with a proposal for Type XXI electro boats to tow V-2 launchers which would attack shore bases. Neither the launchers nor the Type XXI boats became available before the war ended.

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