Ferdinand Graf von Arco

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew I/41)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  6 Jun 1921 Gotschdorf, Jägerndorf, Sudetenland
Died  19 Feb 2004(82)Pörtschach, Germany

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1 Jan 1941 Offiziersanwärter
1 Dec 1941 Fähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1942 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1943 Leutnant zur See
1 Jan 1945 Oberleutnant zur See


Sep 1943 Iron Cross 2nd Class

U-boat Commands

U-151 1 Sep 1944 5 May 1945   No war patrols 

Graf Ferdinand von Arco joined the Kriegsmarine in 1941. He went through base training and then U-boat training from Jan 1941 until June 1943 when he was sent to the training boat U-346 in the Baltic Sea to learn the ropes as a Watch Officer (WO).

In July 1943 Ferdinand Graf von Arco was sent to the U-617 in the Mediterranean as its Second Watch Officer (2WO). There he served under the famous Knight Cross winner Ktplt. Albrecht Brandi.

First War patrol

On 28 Aug 1943 Ferdinand Graf von Arco sailed from Toulon, France on his first - and ultimately only - war patrol with U-617. They operated in the area east of the Straits of Gibraltar where they sank one British destroyer.

British destroyer HMS Puckeridge (L 108) sunk by U-617 on 6 Sept 1943.

Their luck ran out on 12 Sept when the boat was forced aground off Morocco after being found and bombed at night by British Wellington aircraft and then another Wellington until the boat was grounded without loss of life. The wreck was destroyed afterwards by British forces (see photo on U-617's page).

All 49 men survived but were interned by Spain, finally returned to Germany in April 1944.

First Command

Graf Ferdinand von Arco commanded the small training U-boat U-151 from 1 Sep 1944 to 2 May 1945 when he scuttled the boat like over 220 of his comrades.

The grave of Ferdinand Graf von Arco (1921-2004) on the cemetery of Poertschach on the Lake Woerth, municipalilty Poertschach on the Lake Woerth, district Klagenfurt-Land, Carinthia, Austria (photo source).

Patrol info for Ferdinand Graf von Arco

This commander did not go out on patrols with his boats.

About ranks and decorations
Special thanks to Fernando Almeida for data on ranks and decorations.

Media links

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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