List of all U-boats




Ordered23 Sep 1939
Laid down22 Apr 1940 Danziger Werft AG, Danzig (werk 103)
Launched28 Dec 1940
Commissioned21 May 1941Kptlt. Freiherr Siegfried von Forstner (Knights Cross)
21 May 1941 - 13 Oct 1943  KrvKpt. Siegfried Freiherr von Forstner (Knights Cross)
8 patrols
21 May 1941-1 Oct 1941  3. Flottille (training)
1 Oct 1941-13 Oct 1943  3. Flottille (active service)
Successes14 ships sunk, total tonnage 70,434 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 602 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 28,682 GRT

Sunk on 13 October 1943 in the North Atlantic north of the Azores, in position 48.56N, 29.41W, by a Fido homing torpedo from two Avenger aircraft (VC-9 USN/T-9 & T-12) of the American escort carrier USS Card. 50 dead (all hands lost).

Loss position

See the 18 ships hit by U-402 - View the 8 war patrols

Wolfpack operations

U-402 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   St√∂rtebecker (17 Nov 1941 - 19 Nov 1941)
   Benecke (19 Nov 1941 - 25 Nov 1941)
   Letzte Ritter (25 Nov 1941 - 4 Dec 1941)
   Panther (10 Oct 1942 - 20 Oct 1942)
   Veilchen (20 Oct 1942 - 5 Nov 1942)
   Landsknecht (19 Jan 1943 - 28 Jan 1943)
   Pfeil (1 Feb 1943 - 8 Feb 1943)
   Amsel 1 (3 May 1943 - 6 May 1943)
   Elbe (7 May 1943 - 10 May 1943)
   Elbe 2 (10 May 1943 - 12 May 1943)
   Leuthen (15 Sep 1943 - 24 Sep 1943)
   Rossbach (24 Sep 1943 - 6 Oct 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

29 Apr 1942
A US Navy Catalina flying boat (VP-84) piloted by Lt (jg) Robert A. Proctor dropped four depth charges after locating U-402 on radar about 20 miles south of Cape Lookout, North Carolina. (Sources: Ragnar J. Ragnarsson)

11 May 1943
Kvtkptn von Forstner had just slipped through the convoy screen of SC 129 and sunk two ships when the escort corvette HMS Gentian located and depth charged the boat. Damage was so severe U-402 was forced to return to base, reaching France on 26 May. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 329)

7 Sep 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:British Wellington MP509 (RAF Sqdn 172/D, pilot F/O C.J. Payne)

23.03 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: after locating U-402 on radar British Wellington bomber MP791 (RAF Sqdn 172/Q, pilot F/O T. Armstrong) dropped six depth charges in a Leigh Light attack and then circled the boat after making a strafing run. At 23.13 hrs they observed another Wellington (Sqdn 172/D) making a Leigh Light attack and being shot down. Wellington Q-Queen was damaged when the port tyre burst on landing at Chivenor: unknown to the crew the undercarriage had been hit twice by flak. U-402 had hit both attackers and escaped undamaged.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

8 Sep 1943
06.18 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: investigating a radar contact, British Wellington bomber HF126 (RAF Sqdn 612/M, pilot F/O J.M. Bezer) flew over the boat and turned for a Leigh Light attack. The nose turret guns jammed and the aircraft received several AA hits just before releasing six depth charges. The Wellington had been hit in the nose, fuselage, tail, port engine and starboard wing, and the crew had to jettison all loose equipment, reaching Portreath on one engine 90 minutes later. U-402 was undamaged. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

1 Oct 1943
The boat was attacked by an American Ventura bomber (VB-128, US Navy). No damage.

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-402 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.

Coat of Arms Karlsruhe

Media links

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

Wynn, Kenneth

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay

Bloody Winter

Waters, John M.

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