U-boat-successes against aircraft
In the beginning of the war U-boats had little to fear from allied aircraft. Only 2 U-boats were lost to aircraft during 1939-1941 but in 1942 alone 31 boats were lost to them. A sign of things to come.
The aircraft eventually drove the U-boats submerged and forced them to stay there for extended periods of time thus greatly reducing their operational efficiency.
This strategic victory was not without loss as can be seen in the table here below; more than 120 aircraft and hundreds of men were lost in the fierce battles between the U-boats and their pursuing aircraft. In a number of cases there were no survivors from either the aircraft or the U-boat. You should read more about the famous Fight Back order as it attempts to explain perhaps the most critical phase of the entire battle, the summer of 1943.
This listing does not include the numerous aircraft that were damaged while attacking U-boats.
Aircraft losses sorted by boat
|4 Feb 1943||A British Wellington bomber (RAF Sqdn 172/L) was lost on this date. U-519 had been believed to be responsible, but in fact had probably been sunk some days earlier.|
|23 Jul 1942||Aircraft presumed shot down:|
British Swordfish (Sqdn 815)
This aircraft failed to return from a U-boat sweep in the eastern Mediterranean.
|1 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (Sqdn 172/Q)
This aircraft failed to return from anti-submarine patrol
|U-30||14 Sep 1939||After stopping the British freighter Fanad Head, the boat was attacked by three British Blackburn Skua aircraft (FAA-Sqdn 803) from HMS Ark Royal (91), two of which were destroyed by the explosions of their own bombs. Three U-boat crew were wounded by shrapnel.|
|U-73||27 Dec 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Hudson bomber AM638 (RAF Sqdn 500/M, pilot P/O J.R. Pugh)
08.17 hrs, Mediterranean, NW of Algiers: flak hits to the cockpit area and starboard engine during the initial strafing run caused four depth charges dropped by the aircraft to fall wide by 80 to 250m (87 -273 yds), causing only light damage. The aircraft attempted to reach the coast some 50 miles (80 km) distant, but had to ditch only three minutes after the attack. The crew of four were rescued from their dinghy in the afternoon of the same day by a Walrus flying boat (700 Sqdn FAA, pilot Sub Lt Neil Fuller) escorted by Hudsons from 500 and 608 Sqdns RAF).
|U-131||17 Dec 1941||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Martlet fighter (802 Sqdn FAA, pilot SubLt George R.P. Fletcher, RNVR)
The sinking of U-131
This was the first aircraft shot down by a U-boat in the war.
|U-134||18 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
USN Blimp K-74 (Sqdn ZP 21)
This was the only airship shot down during WWII. For more information see this page.
|U-155||14 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Polish Mosquito HJ648 (307 Sqdn RAF/B, pilot S/L S. Szablowski)
09.29 hrs, Bay of Biscay north of Corunna: four Mosquito aircraft (three from 307 Polish Sqdn RAF and one from 410 Sqdn RCAF) attacked a group of five outbound boats (U-68, U-155, U-159, U-415 and U-634). The leading Mosquito first strafed U-68 and then U-155, but its port engine stopped after being hit by flak and the aircraft was forced to return to base at Predannack, Cornwall, where it made a belly landing. A Mosquito piloted by F/O J. Pelka then made an attack run, but without firing, and the remaining aircraft were held off by an intense barrage of flak.
|U-155||4 May 1945||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British P-51 Mustang Mk.III KH578 (126 Sqn RAF/B, pilot SqnLdr Arne Austeen)
On 4 May 1945, U-155 was en route with U-680 and U-1233 from Germany to Norway through the Little Belt when they were strafed by Mustang fighters of 126 Squadron which were escorting Beaufighters of the North Coates Strike Wing. The flight broke off the attack after the leading Mustang was shot down, killing the CO of the squadron.
|U-185||14 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Whitley bomber (10 OTU RAF/G)
U-564 was sunk in this attack. The aircraft had to ditch at sea.
|U-185||11 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American B-24 Liberator bomber (Sqdn VB-107). Shot down while alongside the stricken U-604 (later scuttled).
|U-214||11 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator bomber (Sqdn 224/S). The boat, on a mine-laying patrol, was damaged and returned to Brest.
|U-219||28 Sep 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Avenger (VC-6 USN, pilot Lt W.R. Gillespie)
The boat was attacked five times by three aircraft from the escort carrier USS Tripoli operating on ULTRA information west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and even escaped a Fido homing torpedo. At 19.40 hours, an Avenger was shot down by AA fire, killing the crew of three men. This was the last aircraft lost to U-boats from escort carriers in the Atlantic.
|U-221||27 Sep 1943||The sinking of U-221: |
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
British Halifax HR982 (58 Sqn RAF/B, pilot F/O E.L. Hartley)
17.13 hrs, south-west of Ireland: U-221 was attacked from low level by the Halifax, straddled by eight depth charges, and was seen to sink by the stern. The aircraft was hit by flak, and a fire in the starboard wing forced the pilot to ditch about three miles away. Two gunners were lost, but the remaining six aircrew survived and were rescued after 11 days by HMS Mahratta.
|U-228||7 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Halifax bomber HR792 (RAF Sqdn 58/A, pilot Sgt N.F. Robertson, RAAF)
10.50 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: The Halifax was forced to break off an initial attack by heavy flak, but then made a strafing attack from the bow and released six depth charges, which overshot the boat and detonated about 25m (82ft) astern. The detonations gave U-228 a severe shaking and wounded the II WO and one seaman. The Germans observed several AA hits on the aircraft (misidentified as a Lancaster) and saw it emit smoke before they dived. The Halifax and its crew of seven failed to return to base and presumably crashed shortly after this attack.
|U-228||11 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Sunderland (Sqdn 228)
|U-230||12 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Swordfish (RAF Sqdn 811).
In the vicinity of convoy HX 237.
|U-231||13 Jan 1944||The sinking of U-231|
22.55 hrs, approx. 750 miles NE of the Azores: the boat was attacked by British Wellington bomber HF168 (RAF Sqdn 172/L, pilot P/O W.N. Armstrong, RCAF), operating from the Azores, after it was directed to the area by a sighting report from aircraft from USS Block Island. The Wellington dropped three depth charges, but was itself hit by flak which wounded the tail gunner. U-231 then dived, but was found impossible to keep submerged, so the boat surfaced and the crew abandoned ship. The commander attempted suicide by shooting himself in the mouth, but the bullet lodged in the back of his neck without causing serious injury. Seven men were lost, and the commander and 42 survivors were picked up and taken prisoner the next day by USS Parrott and USS Bulmer, and later transferred to USS Block Island.
|U-241||18 May 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Catalina aircraft FP121 (333 Sqdn RAF/C, pilot S/Lt Harald E. Hartmann)
00.07 hrs, approx. 125 miles west of Ålesund, Norway: four days out from Bergen, U-241 was attacked by the Norwegian-crewed Catalina. Flak hits to the aircraft during the attack run apparently caused the depth charges to miss, but U-241 was sunk by another Catalina a few hours later. The starboard waist gunner was killed (Pty/O Kyrre D. Berg) and a large hole in the hull forced the pilot to beach the Catalina after landing on the River Tay, damaging it beyond repair.
|U-243||11 Jun 1944||02.05 hrs, 40 miles SW of Bergen: the boat opened fire on an aircraft that flew directly over her at a height of 40m (130 ft). It was hit, and crashed into the sea after answering the recognition signals too late. The men aboard U-243 realised that they had shot down a German Ju88 aircraft and headed at full speed for the position where the aircraft sank. They found only one survivor from the crew of four, the radio operator. U-1000 joined the rescue operation after observing the downing of the Ju88, but only found a torn up rubber dinghy. The survivor was landed at Bergen on 12 June.|
|U-249||24 Mar 1945||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Mosquito (Sqdn 235/Q)
|U-256||7 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator bomber (224 Sqn RAF/M).
|U-256||19 Mar 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British B-24 Liberator (224 Sqn RAF/F, pilot F/L R. Dunn)
23.12 hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: the boat was illuminated by Leigh Light and strafed by the Liberator. The Germans observed hits to the right wing from the 20mm AA guns and to the fuselage from the 37mm AA gun. Flames were seen coming from the bomb bay and one of the engines as the aircraft passed astern of U-256 at a height of 50m (55 yards), dropping six depth charges, and then crashed into the sea 500m (547 yards) away, killing the crew of ten. The boat was not damaged in the attack.
|U-256||2 Sep 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Whitley bomber Z9515 (77 Sqn RAF/H, pilot P/O A. Cassie)
08.30 hrs, Bay of Biscay: the Whitley (misidentified as a Wellington) strafed the inbound U-256 and dropped two or three bombs that fell some 15m (50ft) astern. The Germans observed flak hits on the cockpit and saw the aircraft fly off very low leaving a smoke trail. Its crew sent an SOS and probably ditched. The crew of five was lost. U-256 was badly damaged and limped into Lorient the next day; some damage to the deck was apparently caused by one of the aircraft propellers.
|U-256||11 Mar 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft crashed: |
Canadian Wellington HF311 (407 Sqn RCAF/H, pilot P/O E.M. O’Donnell)
21.48 hrs, mid Atlantic: the boat saw an aircraft crash into the sea close by. U-256 had not fired at the aircraft, which apparently crashed due to pilot error while preparing for a low level attack. All six aircrew were lost.
|U-259||15 Nov 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Hudson bomber (500 Sqdn RAF/S, pilot F/O Mick A. Ensor)
One of the depth charges dropped by the aircaft exploded on contact with the boat, crippling the aircraft and forcing the crew to bail out. Only the pilot and one crewman were rescued by the British sloops HMS Erne and HMS Leith. U-259 was sunk.
|U-262||8 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Avenger (VC-1 USN, pilot Lt (jg) A.H. Sallenger)
a.m., mid Atlantic south of Greenland, severe weather conditions: U-262 was awaiting refuelling from U-664 while U-760 was being supplied. At 10.11 hrs, an Avenger/Wildcat team from USS Card located the boats and attacked U-262. The Wildcat strafed the boat while the Avenger tried to drop depth charges, but an AA hit in the bomb bay had damaged the release mechanism, and put the radio out of commission. Making a second run, the Avenger was hit by flak again, setting a fuel tank in the starboard wing on fire. Two depth charges were launched manually, causing severe damage, but the pilot was forced to jettison a Fido homing torpedo and ditch the burning aircraft. The radioman went down with the Avenger, but the pilot and gunner were picked up in the afternoon by USS Barry after being sighted by other aircraft from the escort carrier. The Wildcat was also shot down by U-262 during another strafing run and crashed into the sea, killing its pilot. Damage forced U-262 to break off the patrol.
|U-262||8 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Wildcat (VC-1 USN, pilot Ens J.F. Sprague)
|U-270||6 Jan 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-17 Flying Fortress FA705 (206 Sqdn RAF/U, pilot F/L A.J. Pinhorn)
19.11 hrs, NNE of the Azores: the Fortress made two strafing runs without dropping bombs. After dropping four depth charges ahead of the boat during a third run, the starboard inner engine was hit by flak and the aircraft crashed into the sea, killing all eight aircrew. U-270 ran into the detonations, damaging all bow torpedo tubes, the sonar and batteries, and was forced to return to base.
|U-270||13 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-17 Flying Fortress (53 Sqdn RAF/C)
Bay of Biscay, due south of Brest. U-270 was not damaged in this attack, but was already returning to base after being seriously damaged by a British Wellington (Sqdn 172/Y). The damage was so severe that the boat was paid off on July 1 1944.
|U-271||24 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American PB4Y-1 Liberator BuNo 32046 (VB-103 USN, pilot Lt Hubert Kearsley Reese Jr, USNR)
08.50 hrs, SSE of Cape Farewell, Greenland: when the Liberator (misidentified as a PBM Mariner flying boat) approached from astern, U-271 evaded by turning hard to port and opened AA fire at a distance of 800m (874 yards). The Germans observed hits to the cockpit and the fuselage just before four depth charges were dropped and the aircraft crashed in flames approx. 1500m (1 mile) away. They searched the area, but all ten aircrew had perished. The depth charges damaged some of the batteries, the compressors, the forward latrine, the hydrophones and three torpedoes stored in the bow compartment, but the U-boat was able to continue her patrol after the crew carried out repairs.
|U-283||10 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Wellington (RAF Sqdn 612/N, pilot F/O R.E. Durnford)
The boat reported successfully repulsing an aircraft attack with AA fire at 21.10hrs, but did not claim the aircraft shot down. However, the attacker was apparently Wellington N for Nan from Squadron 612, which reported engine trouble from this area at that time before going missing with the crew of six. U-283 was sunk by another Wellington the following day.
|U-288||3 Apr 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Swordfish (Sqdn )
The boat was lost in this attack.
|U-311||12 Mar 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Halifax HX225 (RAF Sqdn 58/L)
01.20 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: U-311 shot down the Halifax (misidentified as a Flying Fortress) after being strafed and depth charged. The crew of eight were all lost.
|U-311||12 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-17 Flying Fortress (RAF Sqdn 206)
|U-319||15 Jul 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator (Sqdn 206/E). The boat was sunk with all hands, 50 men, during this attack. All ten aircrew also died.
|U-333||11 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Sunderland flying boat (RAF Sqdn 228/U, pilot M. E. Slaughter)
Severe damage to U-boat. U-333 had already been hit by Australian Sunderland Y/10 the day before. Further damage from this attack forced her to return to La Pallice, France.
|U-333||4 Mar 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington Mk.VIII MP505 (RAF Sqdn 172/B, pilot F/O G.D. Lundon)
21.31 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: the Wellington caught the lookouts unawares, but when the aircraft switched on the Leigh Light, it was brought down by flak and crashed in flames after passing over the boat, killing the six aircrew. Two of the four depth charges dropped actually hit U-333, but one broke up without detonating and the other bounced off, causing only light damage.
|U-333||12 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Sunderland flying boat S for Sugar, RAF Sqdn 201
Bay of Biscay south of Brest. This is a possible match. Either this Sunderland or U Uncle from 228 Sqdn were shot down by U-333 on this day. (According to the book Wavetops at My Wingtips, it was 201/S, its demise being witnessed by the crew of a Canadian Catalina flying boat).
|U-338||22 Mar 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Halifax (502 Sqdn RAF/B, pilot P/O L.J. McCulloch)
09.58 hours, outer Bay of Biscay, inbound: although the boat was surprised by the Halifax, accurate AA fire during the attack run meant the stick of bombs fell wide, and only one detonating near the bow caused some light damage. The Halifax was hit in the outer starboard engine and fuselage and was seen to crash into the sea some distance away. Australian Sgt H.C. Taylor was rescued by U-338 and taken prisoner, the sole survivor of the eight aircrew.
|U-343||8 Jan 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (RAF Sqdn 179/R, pilot F/O W.F.M. Davidson)
Following two aircraft attacks on the boat the previous day, the Allies initiated a Swamp operation, and at 21.40 hrs Wellington "B for Baker" of 36 Sqdn RAF located U-343 SW of Cartagena. She was then attacked by a Wellington from 179 Sqdn piloted by W/C J.H. Greswell DFC, followed by a second aircraft from 179 Sqdn. Wellington R-Robert dropped six depth charges, but several AA hits set the port wing on fire and the aircraft crashed into the sea, killing five of the crew. Only the pilot survived, after being thrown clear. U-343 passed close to his dinghy twice, but the Germans did not take him prisoner because they had "more important things to do". He was picked up by HMS Active the next morning and later received the DFC.
The boat had already sustained damage in these attacks, but there was more to come, as a Catalina (202 Sqdn RAF, pilot F/L J. Finch) then continued the attack. The aircraft broke off the attack at 23.00 hrs, and only then because flak had damaged the port wing, fuselage and both fuel tanks and wounded the flight engineer. U-343, badly damaged and unable to dive, managed to escape in the darkness, with only one man wounded by strafing, and following repairs at sea managed to reach her new base at Toulon.
|U-343||7 Jan 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington HF245 (RAF Sqdn 36/Y, pilot F/O R.D. Bamford, RNZAF)
U-343 was attacked at 20.30 hrs, two days after passing the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean. The Wellington made a low level attack, dropping five depth charges which fell astern and missed, and was hit by flak in the port wing and caught fire. It was forced to ditch shortly afterwards, and the pilot and navigator were killed. The remaining four aircrew were rescued from their dinghy by ORP Slazak the next morning.
The sighting report from this aircraft led another Wellington (HF221, RAF Sqdn 36/M, pilot F/O J.T. Hutton) to the scene, which immediately attacked U-343. Its depth charges fell wide because the port engine was hit by flak and the aircraft became difficult to control, despite which it managed to return to Bone (now Annaba), Algeria and land safely.
|U-359||3 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American B-24 Liberator (1st A/S Sqdn USAAF, pilot 1Lt H.W. Fraser)
Approx. 18.15 hrs, west of Oporto, Portugal: U-359 andU-466 both fired at the aircraft as it strafed them, and three bombs fell between the boats before they dived at 18.26 hrs. The Germans observed AA hits on the bomber, and it apparently crashed shortly after the attack, killing all ten aircrew. Both U-boats escaped unscathed
|U-402||7 Sep 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington MP509 (RAF Sqdn 172/D, pilot F/O C.J. Payne)
23.03 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: after locating U-402 on radar British Wellington bomber MP791 (RAF Sqdn 172/Q, pilot F/O T. Armstrong) dropped six depth charges in a Leigh Light attack and then circled the boat after making a strafing run. At 23.13 hrs they observed another Wellington (Sqdn 172/D) making a Leigh Light attack and being shot down. Wellington Q-Queen was damaged when the port tyre burst on landing at Chivenor: unknown to the crew the undercarriage had been hit twice by flak. U-402 had hit both attackers and escaped undamaged.
|U-415||30 Oct 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Wellington HF205 (612 Sqn RAF/C, pilot F/O R.S. Yeadon)
05.42 hrs, Bay of Biscay north of Cape Ortegal, outbound: the Wellington made a strafing run and dropped four depth charges using the Leigh Light, but was hit by flak and crashed into the sea about 50m (55 yds) astern of U-415, killing the crew of six. Damage to U-415 forced her to return to base.
|U-415||7 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator (224 Sqn RAF/B). U-415 had probably already been damaged by a British Wellington (179 Sqn RAF/G) earlier in the day at 02.02 hrs.
|U-417||11 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-17 Flying Fortress FA704 (RAF Sqdn 206/R, pilot W/C R.B. Thomson)
The sinking of U-417
Thomson (CO of 206 Squadron) had to ditch shortly afterwards and all eight aircrew managed to get into one dinghy, although without supplies. On 14 June an American Catalina flying boat (USN VP-84/P-3, pilot Lt Douglas S. Vieira, USNR) attempted to land nearby, but crashed, and its crew of nine also found themselves adrift, in two rafts. While the crew of the Fortress was located and rescued the same day by a British Catalina (190 Sqdn RAF, pilot S/L J.A. Holmes, DFC), the Catalina crew was not found until five days later. There was only one survivor, the others having died of exposure.
|U-418||30 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Catalina FP101 (210 Sqn RAF/G, pilot F/L David William Eadie)
09.55 hrs, outside the Bay of Biscay: The Catalina attacked a U-boat, probably the inbound U-418, which was lost shortly afterwards without reporting an attack. AA fire hit the bow of the aircraft during the attack run, killing the nose gunner and wounding two other crew, but the pilot carried on and dropped depth charges. The aircraft made it to base at Pembroke Dock, but the hull was holed, and it sank on landing. Later salvaged.
|U-441||24 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Sunderland EJ139 (228 Sqdn RAF/L, pilot F/O H.J. Debnam)
20.50 hrs, Bay of Biscay: the flak boat inflicted fatal damage on the Sunderland during its attack run, which nonetheless managed drop five depth charges before crashing with the loss of the crew of 11. U-441 was left with severe damage and one man wounded by strafing, and had to return to base. This was the first 'kill' by a flak boat.
|U-441||7 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Canadian Wellington (407 Sqdn RCAF/C)
|U-445||14 Aug 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (Sqdn 172/K)
Aircraft shot down on the Brest - La Pallice route.
|U-448||17 Oct 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
Canadian Sunderland JM712 (RCAF Sqdn 422/S, pilot F/L P.T. Sargent)
The Sunderland attacked U-448 at 12.48 hrs after obtaining a radar contact near convoy ONS 20. U-281 was nearby and assisted by putting up flak during the first attack run. The four depth charges dropped fell short, so the aircraft turned around for a second run, exchanging gunfire with both boats. The Sunderland then dropped two depth charges on U-448, but was heavily hit by flak, which killed the nose gunner and mortally wounded the navigator. The pilot had to ditch in heavy seas near the convoy. He and two aircrew died in the crash, but the remaining seven were picked up by HMS Drury. U-448 was seriously damaged by the last two depth charges and was forced to abandon her patrol. Strafing killed one man and wounded two. [Oberbootsmaat Fritz Döhler]
|U-453||24 Apr 1943|
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
00.12 hrs: the Hudson illuminated the boat with flares after obtaining a radar contact off Oran and then attacked. The aircraft was hit by flak during the initial strafing run, killing the pilot. No depth charges were released as the nose gunner struggled to save the aircraft (misidentified as a Hampden) from crashing. The navigator then flew the aircraft to base at Tafaraoui, where the surviving four aircrew bailed out and allowed it to crash because they were unable to land safely.
|U-453||4 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
South African Ventura bomber 565 (SAAF Sqdn 17/Y, pilot Lt A. de Jong)
19.44 hrs, S of Cyprus: the Ventura (misidentified as a Mosquito) made a first attack using the Leigh Light, then dropped four bombs in a second attack, but the port engine caught fire after being hit by flak and the aircraft was seen by the Germans to crash into the sea about 1000m away, killing all four aircrew. The bombs landed off the port side, causing no damage.
|U-454||1 Aug 1943||The sinking of U-454|
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
Australian Sunderland flying boat W4020 (10 Sqdn RAAF/B, pilot F/L Ken G. Fry)
14.40 hrs, NW of Finisterre: Six days into her patrol after leaving La Pallice, U-454 was broken in two by fatally accurate depth charges from the Sunderland, despite its suffering severe damage from the U-boat flak barrage. An attempt to ditch failed, and the subsequent crash killed the pilot and five aircrew. Six survivors were rescued by HMS Wren of the 2nd Escort Group, while HMS Kite saved the commander and 13 survivors from U-454.
|U-459||30 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Whitley Z9440 (10 OTU RAF/N, pilot Sgt L.O. Slade)
12.00 hrs, NW of Finisterre, inbound: the Whitley (misidentified as a Lancaster) made two attack runs dropping four bombs on each run, but without result. It was hit by flak during the second attack, and later had to ditch because of engine trouble. The six crew were rescued by a Spanish trawler.
|U-459||24 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (172 Sqn RAF/Q, pilot: F/O W.H.T. Jennings)
The sinking of U-459
approx. 17.15 hrs, NW of Corunna, Spain: despite taking the boat by surprise, the Wellington was hit by heavy and accurate AA fire on the initial attack run, lost control, and crashed into the boat on the starboard side. Only the tail gunner (Sgt A.A. Turner) survived, when his turret separated on impact and he found himself in the water close to an inflated dinghy. The remaining five aircrew were killed. U-459 lost several gunners and most of the AA guns in the crash, and the crew found three unexploded depth charges on deck when clearing the wreckage. They decided to roll them into the sea at high speed, but at least one exploded, close enough to disable the steering gear and cause severe damage to the stern compartments.
At approx. 17.30 hrs, a second Wellington (547 Sqn RAF/V, pilot F/O J. Whyte) strafed the boat and dropped seven depth charges, causing further damage. The commander then ordered the crew to abandon ship and scuttled the boat - apparently choosing to go down with his ship. 41 Germans and the sole British survivor were picked up by ORP Orkan some 8 hours later.
|U-468||11 Aug 1943||The sinking of U-468|
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
British B-24 Liberator BZ832 (200 Sqdn RAF/D, pilot F/O L.A. Trigg, RNZAF).
09.45 hrs, southwest of Dakar: despite being hit by flak several times and set on fire, the aircraft continued the attack and dropped six depth charges to port, then crashed into the sea, killing the crew of 8. Two depth charges fell very close, causing devastating damage to the stern of the U-boat, which sank rapidly shortly afterwards. Less than half of the crew managed to abandon ship, many being injured or poisoned by chlorine gas, and most drowned or died from exhaustion or shark attack. Only the commander and six others survived, having managed to reach a rubber dinghy that floated free from the aircraft wreck, and later being picked up by HMS Clarkia on 13 August.
The B-24 Liberator pilot, Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg RNZAF, who sank U-468 but perished with his entire crew in doing so, was awarded the Victoria Cross based solely on the testimony of officers from the U-boat, including the commander, Oblt Klemens Schamong. This was the only instance in the war of a statement from the enemy resulting in the award of such a high decoration. F/O Trigg pressed home his attack even though his aircraft was on fire and flying extremely low, an example of extraordinary bravery.
|U-480||13 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Canadian Catalina flying boat (162 Sqdn RCAF/B, pilot Laurance Sherman). The crew of this aircraft had sunk U-980 two days previously. Three of them died when the aircraft ditched and four more in the life rafts, leaving only one survivor, J.E. Roberts.
|U-481||30 Jul 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Soviet Il-2 (Sqdn )
Narva Bay, Baltic: two Ilushin Il-2 Sturmoviks (35. ShAP) attacked. One was hit by flak and later ditched.
|U-487||13 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Wildcat (VC-13 USN, pilot Lt (jg) Earl H. Steiger)
The sinking of U-487
|U-489||4 Aug 1943||The sinking of U-489|
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
Canadian Sunderland flying boat DD859 (423 Sqdn RCAF/G, pilot F/O A.A. Bishop, RCAF)
After being damaged in an air attack the previous day the boat was again attacked by the Sunderland soon after 09.00 hrs. The aircraft was hit by flak during the attack run, dropped its depth charges and crashed into the sea, killing five of the 11 aircrew. U-489 suffered mortal damage and sank slowly shortly afterwards. HMS Castleton and HMS Orwell had observed the action from nearby and rescued the aircrew and U-boat survivors.
|U-505||10 Nov 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Hudson V9253 (RAF Sqn 53/L, pilot F/S R.R. Sillcock, RAAF)
The II WO and a lookout were seriously wounded in a surprise air attack out of low cloud by a Hudson bomber SE of Trinidad. Four depth charges were released and a direct hit was scored, but the explosion also destroyed the aircraft and the five aircrew. Heavy damage cased the boat to abandon the patrol. 12 days later the II WO was transferred to the milch cow U-462.
|U-508||12 Nov 1943||The sinking of U-508 |
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
American PB4Y-1 Liberator (VB-103 USN/C, pilot Lt jg Ralph B. Brownell, USNR)
At 01.16 hrs the last message from the aircraft reported they were attacking a U-boat 95 miles (153 km) north of Cape Penas, Spain. A search later found two oil slicks in the area, one larger than the other, about five miles (8.5 km) apart. The aircraft's attack on the outbound U-508 apparently resulted in their mutual destruction, leaving no survivors. Losses were 57 from the U-boat, ten from the plane.
|U-534||27 Aug 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (Sqdn 172/B)
|U-534||5 May 1945||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Liberator (Sqdn 547/E). The boat was sunk by another aircraft during this attack.
|U-539||4 Oct 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator (120 Sqdn RAF/V, pilot W/C R.M. Longmore, OBE)
11.38 hrs, the Denmark Straight, between Greenland and Iceland: the aircraft, escorting convoy ONS 19 was hit by flak on its first approach. Fires started in both starboard engines and the aircraft crashed, killing the crew of eight, which included the CO of 120 Squadron RAF. The depth charges overshot, causing only minor damage. One of U-539's crew was slightly wounded by strafing.
|U-545||10 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington (Sqdn 407)
U-545 was scuttled after this attack
|U-546||17 Apr 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British B-24 Liberator bomber BZ800 (RAF Sqdn 53/H, pilot F/L C. Roberts)
04.53 hrs, North of Finisterre, off the Bay of Biscay, inbound: after approaching using the Leigh Light, the Liberator dropped six depth charges, two to starboard and four to port of U-546 (which caused only minor damage) before the boat dived. The aircraft crashed into the sea 500m (547 yds) from U-546. All nine aircrew died.
|U-558||20 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
American B-24 Liberator (19th A/S Sqn USAAF/B, pilot Lt H.E. Dyment)
The aircraft was apparently lost with its crew of ten after depth charging the inbound U-558 in the Bay of Biscay. The boat was sunk shortly afterwards in further air attacks. She was attacked by five aircraft in one week, shooting down one and damaging three.
|U-561||15 Jul 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British B-24 Liberator Mk.II AL566 (159 Sqdn RAF, pilot W/O W.S. Pottie)
22.07 hrs, ENE of Port Said, Egypt: After firing at the aircraft (misidentified as a Sunderland) with the 20mm flak guns as it approached, the Germans observed hits on the aircraft, which passed over the boat without dropping bombs. U-561 then dived, but was again attacked on surfacing at 23.15 hrs. Again scoring further hits with the flak guns, the Germans watched as the aircraft caught fire, jettisoned its bomb load and crashed into the sea. All seven aircrew died.
|U-564||13 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Sunderland flying boat (228 Sqdn RAF/U, pilot F/O L.B. Lee)
18.59 hrs, Bay of Biscay NW of Finisterre, outbound: a group of five boats (U-185, U-358, U-564, U-634 and U-653) were attacked by the Sunderland. After bombing U-564, the aircraft crashed in flames after being hit by intense flak. All 11 aircrew died.
|U-564||14 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Whitley Mk.V BD220 (10 OTU RAF/G, pilot Sgt A.J. Benson)
The sinking of U-564:
The commander and 17 crewmen were picked up by U-185, which transferred them to the German destroyer Z-24 two hours later and then continued her patrol. Canadian Hampden bomber X2961 (415 Sqdn RCAF/S, pilot S/L J.G. Stronach) arrived in the area around the time of the air attack and was shot down by a German Ju88C fighter (15./KG 40, Hptm Hans Morr) with the loss of all four aircrew.
|U-565||1 Nov 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Hudson AE591 (233 Sqdn RAF, pilot Sgt D.H. Jenkins)
12.50 hrs, Mediterranean, south of the Balearic Isles: British Hudson Mk.III V9169 (RAF Sqdn 233, pilot F/S S. Woodward) dropped four depth charges on the diving boat which detonated near the bows and forced U-565 back to the surface with severe damage. The AA gunners immediately scored hits on the tail of the aircraft, causing an A/S bomb to fall wide. The heavily damaged Hudson then left the area after receiving more hits during a third attack run.
|U-566||7 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American PV-1 Ventura BuNo 29916 (VB-128 USN, pilot Lt F.C. Cross)
13.22 hrs, 300 miles east of Cape Charles VA: the boat was located by radar and attacked by the PV-1 from NAS New York. The aircraft was hit by flak on the approach, but dropped four depth charges, which turned out to be duds. U-566 misidentified the attacker as a Mitchell, recording that it left with the starboard engine on fire. Despite being wounded, Lt Cross managed to ditch the plane successfully, but afterwards died in the water, while the other two crewmen were rescued later that day by another flying boat.
|U-566||7 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American PV-1 Ventura BuNo 29909 (VB-128 USN, pilot Lt Joseph M. George)
At 18.15 hrs, the boat was attacked by a second PV-1 from NAS New York and again replied with AA fire. One of the four depth charges dropped actually hit U-566 and bounced off before exploding, but caused no damage. The Germans again misidentified the attacker as a Mitchell and scored several AA hits after it passed over the boat, causing the burning aircraft to crash at a distance of some 1200m. All five aircrew were lost.
U-566 then made for the crash site, having sighted a rubber dinghy, but before it was reached another Ventura (VB-126 USN, pilot Lt J.R. Smith) from NAS Quonset and a PBM Mariner flying boat (VB-211 USN, pilot Lt E.C. Scully) from Elizabeth City arrived at the scene. The U-boat fired at the aircraft (misidentified as a Mitchell and a Lerwick), and then dived at 18.29 hrs. The Ventura immediately dropped four depth charges. The depth charges detonated without effect, but U-566 was forced to surface by a malfunctioning diving tank and manned the AA guns again. The Mariner was hit as it made several passes while its eight depth charges hung up, until the emergency release was used. At the same time, the U-boat submerged accidentally, the commander closing the conning tower hatch from the bridge and clinging to the periscope standard until the LI brought the boat to the surface again. The II.WO and seven crew were swept overboard, but were rescued within 20 minutes, during which the replacement crew on the AA guns fought off a strafing run by the Ventura at 19.08 hours. U-566 subsequently dived and escaped with only minor damage from gunfire, having shot down two aircraft and damaged two others in one day. One of the crew was wounded in the left hand during the last strafing attack while four men, including the commander and I.WO, suffered burst eardrums from their involuntary dive.
|U-572||3 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Mariner flying boat (Sqdn VP-205/P-6)
The aircraft and the U-boat must have destroyed each other. No survivors.
|U-606||21 Sep 1942||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Norwegian Catalina Mk.III FP525 (RAF Sqdn 330/Z, pilot Lt C.J.A. Stansburg)
11.14 hrs, NE of Jan Mayen Island: the boat was attacked by the Catalina astern of convoy QP-14. Accurate flak during the attack run caused four depth to charges fall wide, causing only minor damage to the boat. With two wounded and damage to one engine and the petrol tanks, the Catalina made a forced landing near the convoy. The crew were rescued by HMS Marne.
|U-608||31 Jan 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Wellington MP813 (RAF Sqdn 172/K, pilot F/S L.D. Richards)
This attack by a British Wellington bomber during the night of 30/31 Jan. 1944 in the Bay of Biscay west of Bordeaux, France in position 45.25N, 05.15W was formerly credited with the sinking of U-364 with depth charges.
The target was in fact the outbound U-608, which escaped unscathed. The boat scored hits on the aircraft with AA fire when it switched on the Leigh Light and then escaped by diving. The Wellington did not drop any depth charges, and apparently crashed shortly afterwards, as witnessed by the crew of a Polish Wellington (RAF Sqdn 304/2B, F/S S. Czekaski), who apparently misinterpreted the crash as exploding depth charges. The six aircrew were all lost.
|U-613||1 May 1943||00.07hrs, off the Bay of Biscay inbound: British Wellington bomber (RAF Sqdn 172/N, pilot Sgt P.W. Phillips) strafed U-613 and dropped six depth charges in a Leigh Light attack. U-613 escaped with minor damage, but the aircraft's hydraulics and port tyre were damaged by flak. The six aircrew escaped uninjured from a crash-landing at their base at Predannack, Cornwall.|
|U-615||6 Aug 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Mariner (VP-205 USN/P-4)
U-615 was finally lost after a massive and prolonged air action against her in the Caribbean. The boat fought bravely for days against overwhelming odds before finally being sunk.
|U-618||30 Jul 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington Mk.XIV (RAF Sqdn 172/J)
01.25 hrs, Bay of Biscay: on attacking, the Wellington bomber (RAF Sqdn 172/J, pilot F/L L.H. Such), was hit by flak and crashed into the sea, killing all six aircrew.
|U-618||20 Nov 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British B-24 Liberator BZ816 (RAF Sqdn 53/N, pilot S/L K.A. Aldridge)
19.25 hrs, Nth Atlantic west of France: the Leigh Light Liberator made its attack near the combined convoy SL 139/MKS 30. The aircraft was hit during the first strafing run and no bombs were dropped, and when coming around for a second attack it was shot down by the quadruple 20mm AA gun about 1000m (1,094 yds) astern of U-618. All nine aircrew died.
|U-629||7 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack SW of Ushant, aircraft shot down:|
British B-24 Liberator (53 Sqn RAF/M). Could also have been U-441 or U-740.
|U-634||13 Jun 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Sunderland flying boat (228 Sqdn RAF/U)
|U-642||9 Jul 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Catalina flying boat FP155 (RAF Sqdn 210/F, pilot F/L D.M. Ryan)
13.40 hrs, 250 miles west of Lisbon, inbound: the port side of the aircraft was hit by flak during the attack run, damaging the wing, engine and a fuel tank and wounding the bow gunner. Due to this damage, only the three depth charges on the starboard side were dropped, but did not damage U-642, which crash-dived, and thus failed to observe the burning Catalina ditch shortly afterwards. Two aircrew died in the crash and another died the next day from a heart attack. Seven survivors were rescued four days later by HMS Swale and taken to Casablanca.
|U-648||20 Nov 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
Canadian Sunderland W6031 (RCAF Sqdn 422/G, pilot F/O J. D. B. Ulrichson, RCAF)
17.45 hrs, in the vicinity of combined convoy SL 139/MKS 30: forewarned by the Naxos radar detector, U-648 fought off the Sunderland with accurate AA fire. Approx. one hour later the aircraft sent a distress call saying it was about to ditch at 42°40N/19°30W. The crew of 11 were never found.
|U-648||17 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Whitley Z9438 (10 OTU RAF/J, pilot Sgt J. H. Casstles)
14.24 hrs, Bay of Biscay, inbound: Whitley bomber J for Johnny was shot down after dropping four depth charges, none of which caused any damage. The crew of six were all killed.
|U-648||21 Nov 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Liberator BZ819 (RAF Sqdn 53/A, pilot W/C H.R.A. Edwards, AFC)
04.12 hrs, vicinity of convoy SL 139: the aircraft was apparently hit by flak in making a strafing run using the Leigh Light, and its depth charges fell wide. On the return flight three engines failed and the pilot was forced to ditch. He was the sole survivor, rescued on 22 November by HMS Lincolnshire.
|U-666||9 May 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Halifax bomber HR743 (RAF Sqdn 58/N, pilot F/S J.A. Hoather, DFM)
10.28 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: the Halifax (misidentified as a Sunderland) only strafed the boat on its first attack and received several AA hits in one of the port engines during a second run. The pilot then apparently lost control when turning to come in again and the Halifax crashed into the sea about 500m (546 yds) from the boat, killing the crew of eight.
|U-667||25 Sep 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
British Wellington Mk.XIV (179 Sqn RAF/F, pilot S/L G.H.M. Riddell)
22.18 hrs, SW of Cape St Vincent, Portugal: After being hit by flak while dropping depth charges, the Wellington was seen to fly away with the Leigh Light still switched on, and later an SOS message was heard. It did not return from patrol and was reported missing with its crew of six.
|U-676||5 Oct 1944|
The boat claimed two Soviet planes (an Il-2 and a Pe-2) shot down near Ösel island in the Baltic. The U-boat was acting as a convoy flak escort.
|U-715||13 Jun 1944|
A Canadian Catalina flying boat (162 Sqdn RCAF/T) was shot down. The boat was lost in this attack.
|U-736||24 May 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Wellington bomber (612 Sqn RAF/L, pilot F/O K.M. Davies)
Bay of Biscay, inbound: the boat shot down the Wellington (killing the crew of six) shortly after being left unable to dive following an attack by a British B-24 Liberator (RAF Sqn 224/C, pilot F/L E.W. Lindsay). The badly damaged U-736 was later escorted into Lorient by five minesweepers.
|U-737||6 Mar 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Liberator Mk.V BZ764 (RAF Sqdn 120/B, pilot F/L Harold F. Kerrigan, RCAF)
The aircraft located U-737 with radar west of the Lofoten Islands, and despite AA hits causing a fire in the starboard outer engine, dropped six depth charges that detonated as close as 10m (33ft) to the U-boat as it dived, forcing it to resurface immediately. The Liberator attacked again, but sustained more flak damage - one round hit the nose, wounding both navigators and disabling the bomb sight and release gear, so that no more depth charges could be dropped. The aircrew managed to put out the fire and jettisoned the remaining depth charges. One of the wounded navigators guided the aircraft to Skitten, Scotland, where it made a belly landing on two engines, and was later written off.The pilot was awarded the DSO and the navigator the DFC for their actions. The damage forced U-737 to return to Narvik.
|U-763||4 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
08.21 hrs, Bay of Biscay, NNW of Cape Finisterre, inbound: British B-24 Liberator BZ795 (53 Sqdn RAF/F, pilot Sgt T.A. Patey)
The aircraft was shot down with the loss of all seven aircrew. Depth charges that were dropped did no damage.
|U-763||5 Feb 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Halifax bomber (502 Sqdn RAF/R, pilot F/O F.T. Culling-Mannix, RNZAF)
22.05 hrs, Bay of Biscay, west of Bordeaux, inbound: repeated AA hits were scored on the Halifax during its first attack run, and it crashed, killing the crew of eight.
|U-764||27 Nov 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Wellington bomber HF153 (RAF Sqdn 172/O, pilot P/O T.B. Wilkin)
21.22 hrs, Atlantic W of Lisbon: While escorting combined convoys SL 140/MKS 31 from its base on the Azores, the Wellington made a Leigh Light attack and was hit by flak after making an initial strafing run. Its subsequent crash was witnessed by U-262 and U-238 which picked up two survivors, F/S Nicolas J. Martin and Sgt Thomas B. Semple. The other five aircrew were lost. Sgt Semple was the radio operator, and later convinced the Germans during his interrogation that Allied aircraft were able to passively locate U-boats by homing in on their radar detection devices. This deception led to the order to U-boats to turn off their Naxos detectors.
|U-766||14 Aug 1944|
A Canadian Wellington aircraft (Sqdn 407/E) was shot down on the Brest - La Pallice route.
|U-771||26 Jun 1944|
A British B-24 Liberator bomber (Sqdn 86/N) was shot down in the Norwegian Sea west of Ålesund.
|U-804||16 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
The boat was attacked by a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft (333 Sqdn RAF/R, crew Jacob M. Jacobsen and Per C. Hansen).
Eight men from U-804 were wounded in the action. The two aircrew were rescued by U-1000 on 18 June and taken to Norway for interrogation.
|U-844||16 Oct 1943||The sinking of U-844|
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:
British B-24 Liberator FL952 (RAF Sqdn 86/L, pilot F/L E.A. Bland)
The boat was shadowing convoy ONS 20 from a point about 15 miles (24 km) south when the aicraft attacked. Both port engines were hit by flak and the depth charges failed to release, but a second Liberator, FL984 (RAF Sqdn 59/S, pilot P/O W.J. Thomas) joined the attack, straddled U-844 with a stick of depth charges and dropped four more into the wash after the U-boat sank. This Liberator made it back to Iceland despite flak damage to the starboard inner engine.
After its depth charges again failed to release in a second attack, the first Liberator was so badly damaged by flak that it was forced to ditch near the convoy. Two aircrew were lost, and the remaining five were all injured, but were rescued by HMS Pink.
|U-846||2 May 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Halifax HR741 (RAF Sqdn 58/H, pilot F/O D.E. Taylor)
04.07 hrs, Bay of Biscay, outbound: The aircraft was hit by flak after illuminating U-846 with three flares, and crashed into the sea, killing the crew of eight. The attack and subsequent crash were witnessed by British Liberator BZ873 (RAF Sqdn 53/S, pilot F/L E.B. LeMaistre).
|U-853||25 May 1944||Rockets were fired by two 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 so badly that it was jettisoned on its return.|
|U-860||15 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Avenger (VC-9 USN, pilot Ens G.E. Edwards, Jr.)
12.21 hrs, South Atlantic approx. 575 miles (925km) S of St. Helena: attack by a Grumman Avenger from USS Solomons. The aircraft made four attack runs and was shot down on the last, crashing into the sea and killing the crew of three. Its contact report resulted in more air attacks from the carrier, which sank U-860.
|U-860||15 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Avenger (VC-9 USN, pilot Lt (jg) W.F. Chamberlain)
The sinking of U-860
|U-862||20 Aug 1944|
A British Catalina (Sqdn 265/H) attacked the boat. The boat shot down the aircraft and escaped despite a massive search for it.
|U-921||24 May 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
Canadian Sunderland flying boat DV990 (RCAF Sqn 422/R, pilot F/O G.E. Holley)
14.20 hrs, off Norway: the boat was attacked while searching for U-476, which had been badly damaged in an air attack earlier in the day. The Sunderland was hit by flak during the attack run and and crashed into the sea after dropping three depth charges (no damage). The crew of 12 all died.
|U-955||5 May 1944||U-955 shot down a British Sunderland aircraft (201 Sqdn, pilot F/O L.H. Baveystock).|
|U-963||5 Feb 1944|
A British B-24 Liberator (53 Sqn RAF/T) was shot down.
|U-993||17 Apr 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
British Liberator aircraft BZ945 (53 Sqdn RAF/O, pilot F/L L.M. Burton)
03.51 hrs, NW of Cape Finisterre, inbound: the B-24 strafed the boat in a Leigh Light attack and was hit by flak during the approach. It was observed to crash into the sea with one of the port engines on fire approx. 600m (656 yds) from the boat, exploding on impact and killing all 11 aircrew. Two depth charges and a small bomb dropped by the passing plane fell wide, causing no damage.
|U-1059||19 Mar 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
American Avenger (VC-6 USN, pilot Lt (jg) N.T. Dowty)
The sinking of U-1059
|U-1060||27 Oct 1944|
The boat was sunk during a mass attack by British Firefly and Barracuda aircraft. One Firefly from RAF Sqdn 1771 was shot down.
|U-1062||22 Dec 1943||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: |
Canadian Beaufighter LZ452 (RCAF Sqdn 404/H, pilot F/O I. Gillespie, RCAF)
Canadian Beaufighter NE323 (RCAF Sqdn 404/F, pilot F/L R. Munro, RCAF)
11.34 hrs, south of Farsund, Norway: the boat was attacked by eight Beaufighters while en route to Bergen escorted by the German minesweeper M-489. Four Beaufighters of 144 Sqdn RAF carried torpedoes and four from 404 Sqdn RCAF acted as flak suppressors. Both vessels were slightly damaged by strafing but all torpedoes missed. Flak brought down two Beaufighters, killing all four aircrew. One crew member aboard the minesweeper and three crew members aboard the U-boat were seriously wounded. Oberfunkmaat Rudolf Polzhuber from U-1062 died shortly before arrving at Egersund.
|U-1163||2 Aug 1944|
Off Egerøy, Nth of Stavanger, Norway: U-1163 and U-771 were being transferred from Stavanger to Kristiansand South and were proceeding on the surface accompanied by surface escorts when Norwegian Mosquitos E/333 and S/333 (HR126) attacked. S for Sugar crashed into the sea with the loss of Fnr. Axel Reidar Eikemo and Kvm. Claus Harr. Both U-boats were undamaged.
|U-1225||24 Jun 1944||Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:|
Canadian Catalina (Canso) flying boat (162 Sqn RCAF/P)
Early evening, 120 miles (193 km) N of the Shetland Isles: the Canso, operating from RAF Wick, Nth Scotland sighted and sank the U-boat with four depth charges despite the starboard wing being set on fire by heavy and accurate flak, and the engine subsequently falling off. The pilot managed to land the crippled aircraft, and the entire crew of eight escaped, but were forced to take turns using only one dinghy. There were five survivors when they were rescued 21 hours later. The captain of the Canso, Flight Lieutenant D.E. Hornell, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his conduct during the attack and afterwards while awaiting rescue in the dinghy.
117 aircraft shot down by 97 individual U-boats for the loss of 31 U-boats either sunk during the attack or due to being located by other forces shortly afterwards and sunk.
One source says that RAF Coastal Command (U-boat hunters) lost 700 aircraft (badly damaged, shot down and paid off - not all to U-boats of course) and sank 220 U-boats during the war. I've been unable to verify the RAF losses but the U-boat figure is about right it seems. These figures show the immense effort put out by the British to hunt down the U-boats and almost all the aircraft successes took place in 1942 and later.
There may be missing aircraft losses from this page, if you spot any missing or some data that is not 100% accurate please contact me. This page is based on the best available information at this time but mistakes or omissions are possible.