List of all U-boats




Ordered5 Jun 1941
Laid down8 Aug 1942 Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 52)
Launched13 Aug 1943
Commissioned22 Sep 1943Ltnt. Heinrich Meyer
22 Sep 1943 - 16 May 1945  Oblt. Heinrich Meyer
1 patrol
22 Sep 1943-28 Feb 1945  24. Flottille (training)
1 Mar 1945-8 May 1945  31. Flottille (active service)
SuccessesNo ships sunk or damaged

Scuttled on 16 May 1945 in the Elbe estuary off Cuxhaven-Altenbruch, in approx. position 53.50N, 08.50E. Wreck broken up. 44 survivors (no casualties).

Final location

View the 1 war patrol

U-287 was on patrol east of the Orkney Islands when it received the order to cease fire and its crew decided to return to Germany instead to surrender to the nearest Allied forces as instructed. Knowing that they would be punished for disobeying orders and destroying their U-boat they landed 36 crew members with dinghies at Cuxhaven-Altenbruch, where the population helped them to change into civilian clothes and to head home to their families. The commander, II. WO, LI and five ratings scuttled U-287 further upstream, went ashore on the other side of the Elbe where the LI and three of the ratings voluntarily went into captivity, telling the interrogators that they were the only four survivors from U-287 that struck a mine upon entering the Elbe estuary on 16 May 1945. They apparently told their story so convincing that this made up fate remained the official cause of loss for more than 40 years until the veterans eventually shared the true story of the sinking.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-287 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Media links

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

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