|Ordered||5 Jun 1941|
|Laid down||21 Aug 1942||AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1059)|
|Launched||11 Mar 1943|
|Commissioned||25 Jun 1943||Kptlt. Helmut Sommer|
|Successes||1 ship sunk, total tonnage 5,353 GRT|
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 430 tons
Sunk 6 May, 1945 in the North Atlantic south-east of New London, in position 41.13N, 71.27W, by depth charges from the US destroyer escort USS Atherton and the US patrol frigate USS Moberly. 55 dead (all hands lost).
Some sources state that the destroyer USS John D. Ericsson (DD-440) is also credited with the sinking of the boat. My own sources disagree and what I consider the best source does not mention the destroyer as responsible. However, she was certainly in the area and dropped depth charges on or near the boat so she should probably have some credit for its loss.
Location of the wreck
She is reported to be lying at 41 12 40N 71 25 20W, in 125/130 feet of water (this is about 4 miles west of the official sinking location).
Attacks on this boat
25 May 1944
Rockets were fired by Swordfish aircraft from the British MAC ships HMS Ancylus and HMS Empire MacKendrick, escorting convoy ON-237. The boat fought off the attack with AA fire and escaped undamaged. All three aircraft involved were hit during the attack, "M3" from HMS Empire MacKendrick being so badly damaged that it was jettisoned on its return.
17 Jun 1944
Two Wildcat aircraft from the US escort carrier USS Croatan made repeated strafing attacks on U-853, about 30 miles south of the carrier. The boat dived and escaped before the Avengers arrived, but had to abort the patrol due to the many casualties: 2 men were killed and 12 wounded [Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler, Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler]
23 Apr 1945
After sinking USS PE-56, the boat was located by sonar by USS Selfridge and attacked with nine depth charges after the destroyer had picked up the survivors off Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It is not known if the attack damaged U-853 as she was herself lost a few days later without reporting the incident.
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
General notes on this boat
In August 1944 Korvkpt. Kuhnke was Commander of the 10th flotilla. He went back to Germany with U-853 (left Lorient, France on 27 August, 1944 and reached Flensburg on 14 October 1944). Then he took over command of the 33rd Flotilla.
Men lost from the boat
17 Jun 1944
Aircraft from the US escort carrier USS Croatan made repeated attacks on the boat. 2 men were killed and 12 wounded in these attacks. [Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler, Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler]
Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -