Wolfgang Heller

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 30)

No ships sunk or damaged.

Born  16 Jun 1910 Berlin
Died  6 Nov 1943(33)North Atlantic


1 Apr 1930 Offiziersanwärter
10 Oct 1930 Seekadett
1 Jan 1932 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1934 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1934 Leutnant zur See
1 Jun 1936 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jun 1939 Kapitänleutnant
1 Jul 1943 Korvettenkapitän


U-boat Commands

U-842 1 Mar 1943 6 Nov 1943  (+)  1 patrol (33 days) 

Wolfgang Heller joined the Reichsmarine in 1930. From Sept 1937 to Feb 1940 he served as a range-finder officer on the 'pocket battleship' Deutschland (renamed Lützow in 1940), and then as a Watch Officer. In Nov 1941 he became a staff officer at Naval General Staff Battleships/Cruisers, and from March to April 1942 served with Station Command Baltic (Busch & Röll, 1999).

In April 1942 Kptlt. Heller joined the U-boat force and following standard training underwent U-boat Commander training with the 24th (Training) Flotilla from Sep to Oct 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Heller joined the veteran U-155 (Piening) as a Kommandantenschüler (Commander-in-Training) in Oct 1942 to gain sea experience under battle conditions. On 7 Nov U-155 left Lorient for a patrol in the North Atlantic west of Portugal (Busch & Röll, 1997). She returned 55 days later, having sunk three ships,including the British escort carrier HMS Avenger, one of Piening's greatest successes. (Rohwer, 1998).

HMS Avenger (D 14) sunk by U-155 on 15 Nov 1942.

From Jan to Feb 1943 Heller attended Baubelehrung (U-boat familiarization) with the rest of his future crew in preparation for his own command, and on 1 March 1943 commissioned U-842, a long range boat similar to U-155 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Kptlt. Heller spent the next six months preparing both boat and men in the Baltic before leaving for their new base at Bergen in Norway (Busch & Röll, 1997).

On 6 Oct U-842 sailed on her first war patrol (Busch & Röll, 1997), heading for the eastern coast of the US. Wolfgang Heller died with his crew when U-842 was sunk on 6 Nov 1943 in the western Atlantic the British sloops HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose (Niestlé, 1998).


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Wolfgang Heller

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-842 14 Sep 1943  Kiel  17 Sep 1943  Bergen   4 days
2. U-842 5 Oct 1943  Bergen  6 Nov 1943  Sunk  Patrol 1,33 days

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

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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