Hans-Joachim Förster

Oberleutnant zur See (Crew 38)

2 ships sunk, total tonnage 12,846 GRT
2 warships sunk, total tonnage 1,775 tons

Born  20 Feb 1920 Gross-Köris, Teltrow
Died  29 Jan 1945(24)Channel south-west of Land's End

Hans-Joachim Förster


1 Oct 1938 Offiziersanwärter
1 Jul 1939 Seekadett
1 Dec 1939 Fähnrich zur See
1 Aug 1940 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1941 Leutnant zur See
1 Jan 1943 Oberleutnant zur See


12 Sep 1944 German Cross in Gold
18 Oct 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-348 Jul, 1943 Aug, 1943   No war patrols 
U-479 Aug, 1943 Aug, 1943   No war patrols 
U-480 6 Oct 1943 29 Jan 1945  (+)  3 patrols (118 days) 

Oblt. z. See Hans-Joachim Förster

Hans-Joachim Förster joined the Kriegsmarine in October 1938. He rode on the destroyer Z-29 in 1941 and 1942 for 7 patrols, before he was attached in July 1942 to the U-boat force.

After the usual training he was for three patrols first watch officer on board of U-380 operating in the Mediterranean. He left U-380 in May 1943 and commissioned 5 months later the type VIIC U-boat U-480.

Very successful became his second patrol in where he sunk 4 ships sunk with a total of 14,646 tons including the Canadian corvette HMCS Alberni and the British minesweeper HMS Loyalty.

U-480 was lost with all hands, 48 men, when she was sunk between 29 January and about 20 February 1945 in minefield Brazier D2 in position 50°22'04"N/001°44'10"W (Niestlé, 2001).


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1998). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Niestlé, A. (2001). Re-assessment of fate of U-480.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Hans-Joachim Förster

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-480 18 May 1944  Kiel  19 May 1944  Arendal   2 days
2. U-480 7 Jun 1944  Arendal  7 Jul 1944  Brest  Patrol 1,31 days
3. U-480 3 Aug 1944  Brest  4 Oct 1944  Trondheim  Patrol 2,63 days
4. U-480 6 Jan 1945  Trondheim  29 Jan 1945  Sunk  Patrol 3,24 days
3 patrols, 118 days at sea

Ships hit by Hans-Joachim Förster

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
21 Aug 1944U-480 HMCS Alberni (K 103)925ca
22 Aug 1944U-480 HMS Loyalty (J 217)850br
23 Aug 1944U-480 Fort Yale7,134brETC-72
25 Aug 1944U-480 Orminster5,712brFTM-74

4 ships sunk (14,621 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

(£ 38.25)

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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