Johann Jebsen

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 35)

3 ships sunk, total tonnage 20,853 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 5,450 tons

Born  21 Apr 1916 Pellworm
Died  23 Sep 1944(28)Indian Ocean, Strait of Malacca


5 Apr 1935 Offiziersanwärter
25 Sep 1935 Seekadett
1 Jul 1936 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1938 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1938 Leutnant zur See
1 Oct 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Jul 1942 Kapitänleutnant


  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class
19 Sep 1944 German Cross in Gold

U-boat Commands

U-565 10 Apr 1941 17 Mar 1942   4 patrols (176 days) 
U-859 8 Jul 1943 23 Sep 1944  (+)  1 patrol (169 days) 

Johann Jebsen joined the Kriegsmarine in 1935. Following standard training he served as 2WO (2nd Watch Officer) on the large type IX U-boat U-39 under Kptlt. Gerhard Glattes from Oct 1938 to July 1939. He then served as 1WO on the small type IIB U-boat "duck" U-20 (Kptlt. Karl-Heinz Moehle) until April 1940, for 11 patrols, spending 97 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1999).

Jebsen went through a Baubelehrung (Construction Familiarisation) course for type IXC U-boats before joining U-123 with Kptlt. Moehle in May 1940 as 1WO (Busch & Röll, 1999). He went on 2 patrols with the boat, 48 days at sea, during which 11 ships were sunk totalling over 50,000 tons.

Jebsen received U-boat Commander training with the 24th (Training) Flotilla from Jan. to March 1941 before Baubelehrung for the type VIIC U-boat. (Busch & Röll, 1999).

On 10 April 1941 Oblt. Jebsen took command of U-565 and left on the first patrol on 8 July 1941 from Trondheim, Norway. On the third patrol U-565 left Lorient, France to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean on 16 Nov. 1941, arriving at her new base at La Spezia, Italy on 25 Dec. (Busch & Röll, 1997). He left the boat after one more patrol, on 17 May 1942, with 176 days seatime. He sank one ship, the British light cruiser HMS Naiad (93), on 11 March 1942.

From April to Oct. 1942 he served with the 25th (Training) Flotilla, and then as a tactical instructor with Agru-Front (Active Service Training Group) Oct. 1942 - June 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

He went on another Baubelehrung from June to July 1943, this time for the much larger type IXD2, before taking command of U-859 on 8 July 1943 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

After working up exercises in the the Baltic U-859 left Marviken, Norway for her first patrol on 8 April 1944, heading to the Indian Ocean (Busch & Röll, 1997). She sank three ships of almost 21,000 tons total before being sunk herself by a British submarine near Penang on 23 Sept, 169 days into the patrol. There were 20 survivors, but 47 men died, including Kptlt Jebsen (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.

Patrol info for Johann Jebsen

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-565 19 Jun 1941  Kiel  23 Jun 1941  Trondheim   5 days
2. U-565 8 Jul 1941  Trondheim  6 Aug 1941  Brest  Patrol 1,30 days
3. U-565 1 Sep 1941  Brest  7 Oct 1941  Lorient  Patrol 2,37 days
4. U-565 3 Nov 1941  Lorient  25 Dec 1941  La Spezia  Patrol 3,53 days
5. U-565 21 Jan 1942  La Spezia  17 Mar 1942  La Spezia  Patrol 4,56 days
6. U-859 4 Apr 1944  Kiel  6 Apr 1944  Marviken   3 days
7. U-859 8 Apr 1944  Marviken  23 Sep 1944  Sunk  Patrol 5,169 days
5 patrols, 345 days at sea

Ships hit by Johann Jebsen

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
11 Mar 1942U-565 HMS Naiad (93)5,450br
26 Apr 1944U-859 Colin6,255paSC-157
28 Aug 1944U-859 John Barry7,176am
1 Sep 1944U-859 Troilus7,422br

4 ships sunk (26,303 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

Stalin's Silver

Beasant, John

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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