|Ordered||7 Aug 1939|
|Laid down||20 Apr 1940||AG Weser, Bremen (werk 987)|
|Launched||22 Oct 1940|
|Commissioned||11 Feb 1941||Kptlt. Karl-Friedrich Merten (Oak Leaves)|
|Successes||32 ships sunk, total tonnage 197,453 GRT|
1 auxiliary warship sunk, total tonnage 545 GRT
Sunk 10 Apr 1944 north-west of Madeira, Portugal, in position 33.24N, 18.59W, by depth charges and rockets from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (VC-58). 56 dead and 1 survivor.
U-68 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Eisbär (25 Aug 1942 - 1 Sep 1942)
Attacks on this boat
27 Jul 1941
The boat was attacked by 24 depth charges from Rhododendrun and driven off a convoy. Another U-boat was also depth charged by Sunflower and Pimpernel at roughly the same time. (Sources: Blair, vol 1, page 328)
2 Apr 1943
At 16.06 hours, the boat was attacked by an American Mariner aircraft (USN VP-204 / P-9) with 3 bombs and suffered light damage. Since 27 March, U-68 was operating off Puerto Rico and had been attacked three times and kept submerged by aircraft for 127 hours in six days. After this attack the boat began its return voyage. (Sources: Rohwer/Ritschel)
14 Jun 1943
At 09.33 hours, the outbound boat was strafed by one of four Mosquito aircraft. More details about this incident can be found on the page about U-155. Aboard U-68, the commander, the II.WO and another crew member were wounded. The I.WO Oblt E. Scherraus temporary took over the command. One crew member [Obergefreiter Hans Schaumburg] operating a MG38 machine-gun was apparently hit too, fell overboard and could not be recovered. The boat returned to base due to the casualties together with U-155 and later transferred its doctor to the other boat. (Sources: Norman Franks)
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
* U-68 was attacked on 14 June, 1943 by a British Mosquito aircraft and the commander was badly wounded. The IWO took over the command and brought the boat back to her base in Lorient, France.
The survivor, a lookout on the bridge, was rescued by the same US convoy escort group that had sunk Henke's U-515 the day before. The survivor was taken aboard the USS Guadalcanal and kept in isolation from the U-515 survivors already on board for the duration of the vessel's patrol to America. This was an American policy of not publishing U-boat sinkings.
Men lost from the boat
14 Jun 1943
A Mosquito aircraft attacked the U-68 killing 1 and wounding 3 more. U-68 later was given the doctor onboard of U-155 for some medical treatment. [Obergefreiter Hans Schaumburg]
Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -
We have 2 emblem entry for this boat! See the emblem page for this boat or view each one below.
There was another U-68 in World War One
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 1 Jun 1915 and commissioned into the Imperial Navy on 17 Aug 1915. The Naval war in WWI was brought to an end with the Armistice signed on 11 Nov, 1918. Read about the U 68 during WWI.