Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)
3 ships sunk, total tonnage 13,010 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 925 tons
|Born||30 Nov 1915||Berlin-Steglitz|
|Died||5 Apr 2003||(87)|
|U-148||16 Jan 1942||19 Oct 1942||No war patrols|
|U-262||26 Oct 1942||25 Jan 1944||5 patrols (222 days)|
|U-3509||15 Mar 1945||9 Apr 1945||No war patrols|
|U-2502||12 Apr 1945||8 May 1945||No war patrols|
Kapitänleutnant Heinz Franke
Heinz Franke joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1936 and was a member of the so called Olympia-Crew. He served for more than two years on the battle cruiser Gneisenau and was on board during her two patrols in 1939 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In October 1940 he transferred to the U-boat force and after the usual training he became first watch officer (IWO) on U-84. After three patrols he left the boat in December 1941 and took over the school boat U-148 which he commanded for 10 months in the Baltic Sea (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In October 1942 he became commander of the front boat U-262 and just one month later on his first patrol he sank the Norwegian corvette Montbretia (Rohwer, 1998). In May 1943 Franke was to pick up some captured U-boat men who planned to escape in the Gulf of St. Lorenz, but the breakout failed and he returned home without them.
In January 1944 Heinz Franke left U-262 and was attached to the BdU org staff. After serving in several other staff positions and in a midget U-boat unit, he took command of U-3509 in March 1945. When the U-boat was damaged on 4 April, 1945 he transferred to U-2502, which he commanded to the end of the war (Busch & Röll, 1999).
After the war he spent six months in captivity, then served in a minesweeper unit (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In 1957 he joined the Bundesmarine, where he worked in the Amt für Militärkunde (department for military subjects). He retired in March 1972 as Fregattenkapitän.
Heinz Franke passed away on 5 April, 2003 suffering from advanced Alzheimers disease.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Heinz Franke
|1.||U-262||5 Nov 1942||Narvik||9 Dec 1942||La Pallice||Patrol 1,||35 days|
|2.||U-262||16 Jan 1943||La Pallice||15 Feb 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 2,||31 days|
|3.||U-262||27 Mar 1943||La Pallice||25 May 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 3,||60 days|
|4.||U-262||24 Jul 1943||La Pallice||2 Sep 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 4,||41 days|
|5.||U-262||14 Oct 1943||La Pallice||7 Dec 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 5,||55 days|
|5 patrols, 222 days at sea|
Ships hit by Heinz Franke
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|18 Nov 1942||U-262||Heinz Franke||HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)||925||nw||ONS-144|
|26 Nov 1942||U-262||Heinz Franke||Ocean Crusader||7,178||br||HX-216|
|6 Feb 1943||U-262||Heinz Franke||Zagloba||2,864||po||SC-118|
|31 Oct 1943||U-262||Heinz Franke||Hallfried||2,968||nw||SL-138|
4 ships sunk (13,935 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.