Richard Zapp

Fregattenkapitän (Crew 26)

16 ships sunk, total tonnage 106,200 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 12,502 GRT

Born  3 Apr 1904 Germersheim, Pfalz
Died  17 Jul 1964(60)Kiel, Germany

Korvettenkapitän Richard Zapp


1 Apr 1926 Offiziersanwärter
12 Oct 1926 Seekadett
1 Apr 1928 Fähnrich zur See
1 Jun 1930 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1930 Leutnant zur See
1 May 1933 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Apr 1936 Kapitänleutnant
1 Apr 1941 Korvettenkapitän
1 Jan 1945 Fregattenkapitän


14 May 1941 U-boat War Badge 1939
6 Aug 1941 Iron Cross 2nd Class
6 Aug 1941 Iron Cross 1st Class
23 Apr 1942 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-66 2 Jan 1941 21 Jun 1942   5 patrols (264 days) 

Richard Zapp began his naval career in May 1923. Later he served on minesweepers and in naval anti-aircraft units (Marineflak) before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1940. After standard training he served for one short patrol on U-46 under Oblt. Engelbert Endrass, where he participated in the battle against convoy HX 79 in October 1940.

Richard Zapp commissioned U-66 in January 1941. After three patrols in Atlantic waters, he was one of the five boats operating in the first wave of Operation Paukenschlag. On this patrol he sank five ships with a total of 33,456 tons. His second patrol in US waters was also successful: six ships sunk with a total of 43,946 tons. Korvkpt. Zapp left the boat after this to command the 3rd Flotilla in La Rochelle, France. In the last months of the war he also headed Marine Regiment Zapp which defended the U-boat base at La Rochelle up to the end of the war in May 1945. He then spent more than two years in French captivity.

Richard Zapp
Korvkpt. Richard Zapp on U-66 after 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).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Richard Zapp

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-66 13 May 1941  Kiel  11 Jun 1941  Lorient  Patrol 1,30 days
2. U-66 23 Jun 1941  Lorient  5 Aug 1941  Lorient  Patrol 2,44 days
3. U-66 28 Aug 1941  Lorient  9 Nov 1941  Lorient  Patrol 3,74 days
4. U-66 25 Dec 1941  Lorient  10 Feb 1942  Lorient  Patrol 4,48 days
5. U-66 21 Mar 1942  Lorient  27 May 1942  Lorient  Patrol 5,68 days
5 patrols, 264 days at sea

Ships hit by Richard Zapp

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
29 Jun 1941U-66Richard Zapp George J. Goulandris4,345grSL-78
29 Jun 1941U-66Richard Zapp Kalypso Vergotti5,686grSL-78
30 Jun 1941U-66Richard Zapp Saint Anselm5,614brSL-78
19 Jul 1941U-66Richard Zapp Holmside3,433brOG-67
26 Sep 1941U-66Richard Zapp I.C. White7,052pa
18 Jan 1942U-66Richard Zapp Allan Jackson6,635am
19 Jan 1942U-66Richard Zapp Lady Hawkins7,988ca
22 Jan 1942U-66Richard Zapp Olympic5,335pa
24 Jan 1942U-66Richard Zapp Empire Gem8,139br
24 Jan 1942U-66Richard Zapp Venore8,017am
14 Apr 1942U-66Richard Zapp Korthion2,116gr
16 Apr 1942U-66Richard Zapp Amsterdam7,329nl
17 Apr 1942U-66Richard Zapp Heinrich von Riedemann11,020pa
26 Apr 1942U-66Richard Zapp Alcoa Partner5,513am
29 Apr 1942U-66Richard Zapp Harry G. Seidel10,354pa
2 May 1942U-66Richard Zapp Sandar7,624nw
3 May 1942U-66Richard Zapp Geo. W. McKnight (d.)12,502brON-87

16 ships sunk (106,200 tons) and 1 ship damaged (12,502 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

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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