Korvettenkapitän (Crew 33)
18 ships sunk, total tonnage 100,007 GRT
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 1,737 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 20,568 GRT
1 warship damaged, total tonnage 31,100 tons
|Born||24 Oct 1913||Berlin-Grunewald|
|Died||5 Aug 2010||(96)||Hamburg, Germany|
|U-61||12 Aug 1939||28 Jul 1940||8 patrols (145 days)|
|U-106||24 Sep 1940||19 Oct 1941||3 patrols (182 days)|
|U-861||2 Sep 1943||9 May 1945||2 patrols (252 days)|
Jürgen Oesten on patrol. The uniform is slightly contrary to regulations.
Jürgen Oesten joined the Reichsmarine in April 1933. Following standard training he spent more than a year on the battleships Admiral Graf Spee and Karlsruhe. In May 1937 he transferred to the U-boat arm, receiving a thorough pre-war training. In October 1937 he became a Watch Officer on U-20.
On 12 August 1939 he commissioned the small type IIC U-boat U-61. The first patrol, after two months of training, was during the last days of October 1939. One ship was sunk by a mine laid by U-61 in 1939, and over the next seven patrols Oesten torpedoed five more, to bring the total tonnage up to 20,754 GRT.
On her maiden patrol from Germany to her new base at Lorient, U-106 sank two ships with a total of 13,640 tons. Kptlt.Oesten received his Knights Cross on her second patrol in African waters, where he sank eight ships totalling 44,820 tons. His attack on one vessel during the battle against convoy SL 68 was unintended but effective: he aimed at the shadow of a 'merchant ship' in bad light conditions and did not realise that the torpedo had hit and damaged the the British battleship HMS Malaya.
In March 1942 Jürgen Oesten became U-Boot-Admiralstabsoffizier with FdU Nordmeer (Commander of U-boats Northern Waters). In July 1943 he left Norway and on 2 September, 1943 commissioned the type IXD2 U-861.
Korvkpt. Jürgen Oesten in Trondheim in
April 1945 with the commander of the 13th Flotilla Fregkpt. Rolf Rüggeberg
U-861 left Kiel on 20 April 1944 for the Far East as a Monsun boat, but she first operated in Brazilian waters, sinking two ships. The boat found her next victim south of Madagascar, and before she reached Penang on 23 September, 1944 she sank another ship off Somalia. The voyage took five months.
U-861 left Surabaya, Indonesia on 15 January 1945 with a load of vital goods and only two torpedoes for self-defence. On the return journey the boat struck an iceberg south of Greenland, but Oesten, through good luck and seamanship, reached Trondheim, Norway on 19 April, 1945 with only five barrels of fuel remaining in the tanks.
According to his family he died peacefully on 5 Aug 2010. He was apparently buried at sea after a service at a chapel in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf.
Patrol info for Jürgen Oesten
|1.||U-61||24 Oct 1939||Kiel||14 Nov 1939||Kiel||Patrol 1,||22 days|
|2.||U-61||28 Nov 1939||Kiel||3 Dec 1939||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 2,||6 days|
|3.||U-61||7 Dec 1939||Wilhelmshaven||18 Dec 1939||Kiel||Patrol 3,||12 days|
|4.||U-61||15 Jan 1940||Kiel||30 Jan 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 4,||16 days|
|5.||U-61||12 Feb 1940||Wilhelmshaven||27 Feb 1940||Wilhelmshaven||Patrol 5,||16 days|
|6.||U-61||29 Feb 1940||Wilhelmshaven||1 Mar 1940||Kiel||2 days|
|7.||U-61||11 Apr 1940||Kiel||7 May 1940||Kiel||Patrol 6,||27 days|
|8.||U-61||6 Jun 1940||Kiel||1 Jul 1940||Bergen||Patrol 7,||26 days|
|9.||U-61||6 Jul 1940||Bergen||25 Jul 1940||Kiel||Patrol 8,||20 days|
|10.||U-106||4 Jan 1941||Kiel||10 Feb 1941||Lorient||Patrol 9,||38 days|
|11.||U-106||26 Feb 1941||Lorient||17 Jun 1941||Lorient||Patrol 10,||112 days|
|12.||U-106||11 Aug 1941||Lorient||11 Sep 1941||Lorient||Patrol 11,||32 days|
|13.||U-861||20 Apr 1944||Kiel||23 Sep 1944||Penang||Patrol 12,||157 days|
|14.||U-861||1 Nov 1944||Penang||2 Nov 1944||Singapur||2 days|
|15.||U-861||3 Nov 1944||Singapur||5 Nov 1944||Soerabaja||3 days|
|16.||U-861||15 Jan 1945||Soerabaja||19 Apr 1945||Trondheim||Patrol 13,||95 days|
|13 patrols, 579 days at sea|
Ships hit by Jürgen Oesten
|Date||U-boat||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|22 Dec 1939||U-61||Gryfevale (d.) [Mine]||4,434||br|
|22 Jan 1940||U-61||Sydfold||2,434||nw|
|18 Feb 1940||U-61||El Sonador||1,406||pa|
|18 Feb 1940||U-61||Sangstad||4,297||nw|
|10 Jul 1940||U-61||Alwaki||4,533||nl||OA-180|
|16 Jul 1940||U-61||Scottish Minstrel||6,998||br||HX-55|
|17 Jan 1941||U-106||Zealandic||10,578||br|
|29 Jan 1941||U-106||Sesostris||2,962||ag||SC-19|
|11 Mar 1941||U-106||Memnon||7,506||br|
|16 Mar 1941||U-106||Almkerk||6,810||nl|
|17 Mar 1941||U-106||Tapanoeli||7,034||nl||SL-68|
|17 Mar 1941||U-106||Andalusian||3,082||br||SL-68|
|20 Mar 1941||U-106||HMS Malaya (01) (d.)||31,100||br||SL-68|
|20 Mar 1941||U-106||Meerkerk (d.)||7,995||nl||SL-68|
|24 Mar 1941||U-106||Eastlea||4,267||br|
|30 May 1941||U-106||Silveryew||6,373||br|
|31 May 1941||U-106||Clan Macdougall||6,843||br|
|6 Jun 1941||U-106||Sacramento Valley||4,573||br||OB-324|
|20 Jul 1944||U-861||Vital de Oliveira||1,737||bz|
|24 Jul 1944||U-861||William Gaston||7,177||am|
|20 Aug 1944||U-861||Berwickshire||7,464||br||DN-68|
|20 Aug 1944||U-861||Daronia (d.)||8,139||br||DN-68|
|5 Sep 1944||U-861||Ioannis Fafalios||5,670||gr|
19 ships sunk (101,744 tons) and 4 ships damaged (51,668 tons).
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.