These pages contain a compilation of all known losses of life from U-boats that either survived the incident or were put into commission shortly afterwards.
10 Jan 1942
During heavy weather in the North Atlantic a lookout on U-582 broke his arm.
12 Jan 1942
During heavy weather in the North Atlantic a lookout on U-654 broke his arm.
25 Jan 1942
During bad weather in the North Atlantic a lookout on U-575 broke his arm.
29 Jan 1942
In rough seas west of Bantry Bay, Ireland, a lookout broke his arm.
5 Feb 1942
21 year old Fähnrich zur See Eberhardt Vollmer (Crew 1940) was lost overboard in the south Barents Sea.
16 Feb 1942
U-156 began to shell the oil refinery at Aruba in the Caribbean, but the gun crew forgot to remove the water plug from the barrel, causing an explosion that killed one man [Matrosengefreiter Heinrich Büssinger]. The gunnery officer [II WO Leutnant zur See Dietrich von dem Borne, see right] lost his right leg in this incident, and so had to be put ashore into captivity at Martinique on 21 February. The commander decided to saw off the ruined portion of the gun barrel, and using this shorter barrel, on 27 February U-156 sank a 2,498-ton British steamer.
26 Feb 1942
Matrosengefreiter Josef Kauerlost was lost overboard when U-454 was two days out from Trondheim, Norway.
10 Mar 1942
On the return from the US eastern seaboard, I WO Oberleutnant zur See Gert Rentrop was lost overboard.
27 Mar 1942
After being torpedoed by U-123 off the US East coast the American Q-ship USS Atik (AK 101) took the Germans by surprise with their counter-attack. One man from U-123 was fatally wounded and the Q-ship was sunk with all hands. [Fähnrich zur See Rudi Holzer]
29 Mar 1942
One crew member on U-703 was badly injured in an accident off Heligoland.
5 Apr 1942
On U-81 one crew member was injured during an accident.
13 Apr 1942
A day before U-334 reached base at Trondheim, Norway 19 year old Matrosengefreiter Otto Mayerhofer was lost overboard.
27 Apr 1942
The boat was damaged in an air raid on the harbour at Trondheim, Norway. One crew member was injured.
5 May 1942
During handling of a torpedo one of the crew of U-507 broke his arm.
25 May 1942
A man was lost from a crash dive during a patrol in the Caribbean. [Matrosengefreiter Walter Kunde]
3 Jun 1942
During a rescue action in the Baltic Sea an officer lost his life. [I WO Leutnant zur See der Reserve Rolf Kühl]
9 Jul 1942
Two men were lost during an accident on the landing place in the harbor of Bergen, Norway. The boat went on its next patrol on 17 July. [Funkgefreiter Edmund Kiepulski, Funkgefreiter Alfons Kuklinski]
27 Jul 1942
At 15.30 hours, the outbound boat was strafed and bombed by a Wellington aircraft (311 Sqn RAF/A) in the Bay of Biscay, killing the I WO Oberleutnant zur See Günter Wißmann and wounding the commander. The boat had only left Lorient two days earlier and was forced to return to base.
5 Aug 1942
While U-598 was refuelling in the Middle Atlantic by U-463 one of its men drowned during maintenance work on the hydroplanes and propellers. [Maschinenmaat Willi Bredereck]
6 Aug 1942
During training in the Baltic U-612 collided with U-444 killing two men from U-612 which sank to the seabed. The boat was later raised and used for training. [Obermaschinist Wilhelm Merz, Maschinenobergefreiter Gerhard Ehrlich] (The I WO Herbert A. Werner described the loss in his book ´Iron Coffins´)
10 Aug 1942
18.25 hrs, north of Cape Ferrol, Spain: the outbound boat was strafed by a Czech-crewed Wellington (RAF Sqdn 311/H, pilot F/O J. Nývlt) which dropped 4 depth charges. The boat returned fire with the 20mm AA gun during the first attack, and survived 6 more depth charges after diving.
U-135 sustained only minor damage, but one crewman was killed by gunfire and another died of wounds an hour after the attack. [Matrosenobergefreiter Emil Hafner, Matrosenobergefreiter Erhard Pömpner]
18 Aug 1942
A British B-24 Liberator aircraft (Sqdn 120/F) attacked U-653 near convoy SL-119 in the Atlantic west of Portugal. One man was lost when the boat dived. (There was a report that the man was saved by a British destroyer.) The boat was seriously damaged and had to limp back to base, reaching Brest, France on 30 August. [Matrosengefreiter Willi Pröhl]
19 Aug 1942
A man was lost overboard during an air attack off the coast of French Guyana, S. America. [Maschinengefreiter Konrad Garneier]
30 Aug 1942
In the North Atlantic U-596 lost a man overboard. [Fähnrich zur See Wolfgang Aldag]
11 Sep 1942
The commander of U-203 (Kptlt. Rolf Mützelburg) died in a unique accident on 11 Sept. He had stopped the boat to allow the crew to swim in the sea, and as he dived from the conning tower the boat moved and he hit the saddle tank and was seriously injured. He died the next day.
20 Sep 1942
A gunner from U-515 was killed by a misfire on the 2cm machine gun. [Matrosengefreiter Matthias Biazza]
22 Sep 1942
The navigator was lost overboard from U-258. [Obersteuermann Heinrich Wittmann]
23 Sep 1942
On 23 Sept at 06.05 hrs a man was lost overboard. [Bootsmannmaat Erwin Henning]
5 Oct 1942
A man was lost overboard. [Oberbootsmaat Herbert Bühler]
6 Oct 1942
The boat fought an epic battle with the British corvette HMS Crocus off the coast of Sierra Leone, west Africa on 6 Oct. 1942. The U-boat lost 3 men (including the IWO) and several men were wounded, including the commander, Peter Erich Cremer. The boat was heavily damaged and limped back to base with the help of a replacement WO, Kptlt. Lorenz Kasch, from U-107. The doctor from the milch cow boat U-459 tended the wounded. Cremer then spent 3 months in hospital. [Oberleutnant zur See Bernhard Hermann, Bootsmaat Heinz Kurze, Maschinenobergefreiter Erwin Levermann].
9 Oct 1942
During very bad weather in the North Atlantic a lookout on broke his arm.
13 Oct 1942
1 man was killed and 3 wounded on U-453 in an accident during handling the machine gun. [Matrosengefreiter Horst Saupe + on 13th Oct., Steuermannsgefreiter Helmut Lorenz died 2 months later]
27 Oct 1942
One man died following an explosion during torpedo loading on U-67 [Matrosenobergefreiter Heinz Hartmann].
27 Oct 1942
The same day 3 men were washed overboard from the U-706, 2 men died but the third was saved by U-463. [Leutnant zur See Erich Eichmann, see right, Matrosenobergefreiter Ralf Köhler]
4 Nov 1942
Obermaschinist Alfred Wernicke died following an accident in Kiel.
8 Nov 1942
While refuelling U-454 on 8 Nov Leutnant zur See der Reserve Helmut Schwenzel from U-117 was washed overboard.
10 Nov 1942
At 14.30 hours, the inbound boat was attacked by a Whitley aircraft (502 Sqn RAF/G) about 15 nautical miles north-northwest of El Ferrol, Spain. The aircraft made a sharp turn to starboard to evade AA fire from the U-boat during the first approach and then turned again to attack from under half a mile with the front gunner returning fire. The AA gunners had not anticipated this maneuver and as they had opened fire too early their clips were empty when the Whitley attacked from the starboard beam and dropped six depth charges about 100 feet ahead of the U-boat. The explosions were too far away to cause damage, but machine gun fire from the rear gunner mortally wounded one crew member [Bootsmaat Josef Leisten]. U-620 escaped further attacks by crash diving immediately afterwards.
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 on U-505 were seriously wounded in a surprise air attack out of low cloud by a Hudson aircraft southeast of Trinidad. Four depth charges were released and scored a direct hit, but the aircraft was destroyed with its five crew in the explosion. The boat suffered heavy damage and broke off its patrol. 12 days later the II WO was transferred to the milch cow U-462.
11 Nov 1942
U-354 lost one man overboard on 11 Nov. [Fähnrich zur See Horst Mayen]
16 Dec 1942
During heavy weather in the North Atlantic a lookout on U-610 broke his arm.
22 Dec 1942
The boat lost a man overboard in the mid Atlantic west of Portugal at 08.10hrs. [Bootsmaat Heinz Wendler]
Total numer of losses:
55 men in 42 incidents (37 dead and 18 wounded)
Return to U-boat Crew Casualties