Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)

3 ships sunk, total tonnage 10,969 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 206 tons
2 ships damaged, total tonnage 17,179 GRT

Born  16 Jun 1917 Berlin-Wilmersdorf
Died  2 Jul 1944(27)Atlantic, south-west of Tenerife

Kapitänleutnant Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel


3 Apr 1936 Offiziersanwärter
10 Sep 1936 Seekadett
1 May 1937 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jul 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1940 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1943 Kapitänleutnant


24 Apr 1940 U-boat War Badge 1939
26 Apr 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
3 Jul 1940 Iron Cross 1st Class
3 Feb 1944 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-140 7 Apr 1941 9 Dec 1941   2 patrols (30 days) 
U-96 28 Mar 1942 15 Mar 1943   3 patrols (158 days) 
U-543 21 Apr 1943 2 Jul 1944  (+)  2 patrols (174 days) 

Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. After six months on the torpedo boat Luchs he transferred to the U-bootwaffe (U-boat force). He served as IIWO onboard U-46 under the command of Kptlt. Sohler and later under Kptlt. Endrass before taking command of the type IID U-boat U-140 (Hinsch). He made two patrols in U-140 in the Baltic during the summer of 1941 and sank the Soviet submarine M-94.

In April 1942 he replaced the successful commander of U-96, Kptlt. Lehmann-Willenbrock. On his second patrol he sank three ships and damaged the British tanker F. J. Wolfe and the British former coastal liner New York.

In March 1943 Hellriegel left U-96 and a month later commissioned the type IXC/40 U-boat U-543. This made him one of very few commanders to see active service in each of the three main U-boat types. He died when U-543 was sunk with all hands by US aircraft off the coast of west Africa on 2 July 1944 (Niestlé, 1998).

Oberleutnant Hellriegel (left) on the conning tower of U-96 returning from patrol.


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 Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-140 19 Jun 1941  Gotenhafen  30 Jun 1941  Gotenhafen  Patrol 1,12 days
2. U-140 7 Jul 1941  Gotenhafen  24 Jul 1941  Gotenhafen  Patrol 2,18 days
3. U-96 23 Apr 1942  St. Nazaire  1 Jul 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 3,70 days
4. U-96 24 Aug 1942  St. Nazaire  5 Oct 1942  St. Nazaire  Patrol 4,43 days
5. U-96 26 Dec 1942  St. Nazaire  8 Feb 1943  Königsberg  Patrol 5,45 days
6. U-543 9 Nov 1943  Kiel  24 Jan 1944  Lorient  Patrol 6,77 days
7. U-543 28 Mar 1944  Lorient  2 Jul 1944  Sunk  Patrol 7,97 days
7 patrols, 362 days at sea

Ships hit by Hans-Jürgen Hellriegel

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
21 Jul 1941U-140 M-94206sj
10 Sep 1942U-96 Elisabeth van Belgie4,241beON-127
10 Sep 1942U-96 F.J. Wolfe (d.)12,190brON-127
10 Sep 1942U-96 Sveve6,313nwON-127
11 Sep 1942U-96 Delães415pt
25 Sep 1942U-96 New York (d.)4,989brRB-1

4 ships sunk (11,175 tons) and 2 ships damaged (17,179 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

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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