|Ordered||15 Aug 1940|
|Laid down||8 Jun 1941||Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 28)|
|Launched||18 Mar 1942|
|Commissioned||6 May 1942||Kptlt. Kurt Nölke|
|Successes||2 ships sunk, total tonnage 12,376 GRT|
Sunk 20 Jan, 1944 in the Bay of Biscay near La Rochelle, France, in position 46.06N, 01.36W, during a deep dive trials. 51 dead (all hands lost).
The boat was lost only 2 days out from its base. During deep diving trials the boat reported that its external portside no 2 fuel tank had collapsed and that the boat needed immediate help. Search for the boat and its crew found nothing.
U-263 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Westwall (8 Nov 1942 - 24 Nov 1942)
Attacks on this boat
20 Nov 1942
After an attack on 2 freighters, convoy escorts dropped 119 depth charges on the boat. Serious damage forced U-263 to return to port. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114.)
24 Nov 1942
Only 4 days after being seriously damaged by surface escorts while inbound to France, a British Hudson bomber (Sqdn 233, pilot Eric Smith) located U-263 west of Gibraltar and dropped four depth charges. Extensive additional damage was caused, leaving the boat unable to dive. BdU gave the option of sailing for Spain, but the boat managed to reach France on 29 Nov, thereafter needing 13 months of repairs. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114)
26 Nov 1942
The damaged inbound U-263 met an enemy submarine, which fired two torpedoes, but both missed their target.
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-263 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.