List of all U-boats

U-853

Type

IXC/40

 
Ordered5 Jun 1941
Laid down21 Aug 1942 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1059)
Launched11 Mar 1943
Commissioned25 Jun 1943Kptlt. Helmut Sommer
Commanders
25 Jun 1943 - 9 Jul 1944  Kptlt. Helmut Sommer
18 Jun 1944 - 9 Jul 1944  Oblt. Helmut Frömsdorf
10 Jul 1944 - 31 Aug 1944  Oblt. Otto Wermuth
24 Aug 1944 - 15 Oct 1944  KrvKpt. Günter Kuhnke (Knights Cross)
1 Sep 1944 - 6 May 1945  Oblt. Helmut Frömsdorf
Career
3 patrols
25 Jun 1943-31 Mar 1944  4. Flottille (training)
1 Apr 1944-1 Oct 1944  10. Flottille (active service)
1 Oct 1944-6 May 1945  33. Flottille (active service)
Successes1 ship sunk, total tonnage 5,353 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 430 tons
Fate

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).

Loss position

See the 2 ships hit by U-853 - View the 3 war patrols

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).

This boat is a dive site

This boat lies in 130 feet (42m) deep waters roughly 6 miles north east of Block Island and south of Newport, USA. The boat still contains remains of most of the 55 men who perished when she was sunk on May 6, 1945, in the last U-boat action as such in WWII.

This wreck is a German war grave and should be respected as such

Depth: 130 feet (40 meters)
Position (lat, long): 41.13, -71.27

See more U-boat dive sites.

Attacks on this boat and other events

25 May 1944
Rockets were fired by Swordfish torpedo bombers 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 were hit by flak, M3 from HMS Empire MacKendrick being so badly damaged that it was jettisoned on its return.

17 Jun 1944
Two F4F Wildcat fighters 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 carrier's Avenger bombers arrived, but had to return to base due to the many casualties: two dead and twelve wounded [Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler, Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler].

23 Apr 1945
After sinking USS PE-56 off Cape Elizabeth, Maine, U-853 was located on sonar by the American destroyer USS Selfridge, which launched nine depth charges after rescuing survivors. It is not known if the attack damaged U-853, as she was 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.

Schnorchel-fitted U-boat
This boat was fitted with a Schnorchel underwater-breathing apparatus in July 1944. Read more about the Schnorchel and see list of fitted boats.

Men lost from the boat

17 Jun 1944
Two F4F Wildcat fighters 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 carrier's Avenger bombers arrived, but had to return to base due to the many casualties: two dead and twelve wounded [Bootsmann Kurt Schweichler, Maschinengefreiter Karl-Heinz Löffler].

  Related: For more info on such losses see - Men lost from U-boats -

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.


Horse

Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

Wynn, Kenneth


Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay


German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel


Dive into History

Keatts, Henry C. and Farr, George C.