Helmut Friedrich Witte

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 34)

23 ships sunk, total tonnage 119,554 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 265 GRT

Born  6 Apr 1915 Bojendorf, Holstein, Fehmarn
Died  3 Oct 2005(90)Duisburg, Germany

Helmut Witte


8 Apr 1934 Offiziersanwärter
26 Sep 1934 Seekadett
1 Jul 1935 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jan 1937 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1937 Leutnant zur See
1 Apr 1939 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Sep 1941 Kapitänleutnant
20 Apr 1945 Korvettenkapitän


6 Jun 1939 Spanish Cross in Bronze without Swords
12 Jan 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
10 Jul 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
22 Oct 1942 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-159 4 Oct 1941 6 Jun 1943   4 patrols (261 days) 

Helmut <a href=Witte" border="0" /> Helmut Witte after patrol

Helmut Witte began his naval career in April 1934. Later he served on the light cruiser Köln, on the destroyer Z-22, and on several torpedo boats. In July 1940 Witte transferred to the U-boat force. After the usual training he became IWO on the newly commissioned U-107 under Kptlt. Hessler. Before he left the boat in July 1941, he had taken part in the most successful patrol of the war.

He commissioned U-159 in October 1941 and operated in the waters of Panama on his second patrol. On his third patrol U-159 was a part of the wolfpack Eisbär, which operated in the waters off Capetown in September 1942. He left the boat in June 1943 and served from then until the end of the war in several staff positions.

After two months in British captivity, he worked for a time as a farm hand and factory worker. Later he built up a successful civil career and in the 1960s became personnel manager of a great German industry group.


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).

Patrol info for Helmut Friedrich Witte

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-159 22 Apr 1942  Kiel  3 May 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,12 days
2. U-159 14 May 1942  Lorient  13 Jul 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,61 days
3. U-159 24 Aug 1942  Lorient  5 Jan 1943  Lorient  Patrol 3,135 days
4. U-159 4 Mar 1943  Lorient  25 Apr 1943  Lorient  Patrol 4,53 days
4 patrols, 261 days at sea

Ships hit by Helmut Friedrich Witte

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
21 May 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte New Brunswick6,529brOS-28
21 May 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Montenol2,646brOS-28
2 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Illinois5,447am
5 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Paracury (d.)265bz
5 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Sally150ho
7 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Edith3,382am
11 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Fort Good Hope7,130br
13 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Sixaola4,693am
13 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Solon Turman6,762am
18 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Flora1,417nl
19 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Ante Matkovic2,710yu
22 Jun 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte E.J. Sadler9,639am
7 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Boringia5,821br
8 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Clan Mactavish7,631br
9 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Coloradan6,557am
13 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Empire Nomad7,167br
29 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Ross4,978br
29 Oct 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Laplace7,327br
7 Nov 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte La Salle5,462am
13 Nov 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Star of Scotland2,290am
13 Dec 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte City of Bombay7,140br
15 Dec 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Star of Suez4,999ag
16 Dec 1942U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte East Wales4,358brTRIN-27
28 Mar 1943U-159Helmut Friedrich Witte Silverbeech5,319brRS-3

23 ships sunk (119,554 tons) and 1 ship damaged (265 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

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Naval Officers Under Hitler

Rust, Eric C.

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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