|Ordered||15 Aug 1940|
|Laid down||20 May 1941||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (werk 591)|
|Launched||8 Feb 1942|
|Commissioned||26 Mar 1942||Oblt. Ralph Kapitzky|
|Successes||4 ships sunk, total tonnage 27,231 GRT|
Sunk 7 Aug 1943 in the Caribbean Sea south-east of Curaquo, in position 12.38N, 64.15W, by depth charges from US 6 Mariner and 1 Ventura aircraft. 4 dead and 43 survivors.
This was possibly the longest ongoing combat between a U-boat and aircraft. U-615's battle enabled many other U-boats in the Caribbean to surface and escape to the east.
The aircraft were from the following squadrons; VP-204 (P-6 and P-8), VP-205 (P-2, P-11 and P-4) and VB-130 (Ventura B-5).
U-615 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Pfeil (12 Sep 1942 - 22 Sep 1942)
Blitz (22 Sep 1942 - 26 Sep 1942)
Tiger (26 Sep 1942 - 30 Sep 1942)
Wotan (5 Oct 1942 - 19 Oct 1942)
Draufgänger (1 Dec 1942 - 11 Dec 1942)
Ungestüm (11 Dec 1942 - 30 Dec 1942)
Burggraf (25 Feb 1943 - 5 Mar 1943)
Raubgraf (7 Mar 1943 - 20 Mar 1943)
Seewolf (24 Mar 1943 - 30 Mar 1943)
Adler (7 Apr 1943 - 13 Apr 1943)
Attacks on this boat and other events
15 Oct 1942
The target of the attack by a British B-24 Liberator bomber (120 Sqdn RAF/H) on 15 Oct 1942 in position 53.58N, 33.43W, formerly credited with sinking U-257 and U-661, was in fact U-615, which escaped unscathed. (Sources: 1987-06-01, FDS/NHB)
14 Jun 1943
21.12 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: while proceeding in company with U-257 and U-600, U-615 was strafed by a British Wellington bomber (547 Sqdn RAF/H, pilot P/O J.W. Hermiston). One of the deck crew operating a gun was killed. [Bootsmaat Heinz Wilke] (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman/Rohwer)
29 Jul 1943
The beginning of one of the most dogged hunts of any U-boat during the war. First to attack the boat was an American B-18 bomber on this day. For the next week the boat fought its way across the Atlantic through multiple air attacks, shooting down one Mariner flying boat and damaging others. The boat was finally overwhelmed and sunk in the Caribbean eight days later. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 363)
6 Aug 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:American Mariner flying boat (VP-205 USN/P-4)
U-615 was finally lost after a massive and prolonged air action against her in the Caribbean. The boat had fought for days against overwhelming odds before finally being sunk.
4 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
11 Apr 1943. On 11 April, 1943 U-615 was slightly damaged by debris when the Liberty ship Edward B. Dudley exploded after being hit by a coup de grâce from a distance of 800m. The commander was wounded and the U-boat was forced to return to base.
Men lost from the boat
14 Jun 1943
21.12 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: while proceeding in company with U-257 and U-600, U-615 was strafed by a British Wellington bomber (547 Sqdn RAF/H, pilot P/O J.W. Hermiston). One of the deck crew operating a gun was killed. [Bootsmaat Heinz Wilke]
Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -
We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.
Torpedo and Bird