U-boat patrols

Patrol info for U-486

DepartureArrival / FateDuration
26 Nov 1944Egersund15 Jan 1945Bergen51 days


Officers *

Oblt. (R) Gerhard Meyer

Daily positions, sinkings and allied attacks during the patrol of U-486

We have 49 daily positions for the 51 days U-486 was at sea.

Ships hit by U-486 during this patrol

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. ConvoyMap
18 Dec 1944U-486Gerhard Meyer Silverlaurel6,142brBTC-10A
24 Dec 1944U-486Gerhard Meyer Leopoldville11,509beWEP-3B
26 Dec 1944U-486Gerhard Meyer HMS Capel (K 470)1,085brC
26 Dec 1944U-486Gerhard Meyer HMS Affleck (K 462) (t.)1,085brD

4 ships sunk (19,821 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

General Events during this patrol


24 Dec 1944. Sinking of SS Leopoldville
On Christmas Eve 1944 U-486 torpedoed the SS Leopoldville in the English Channel 5 miles from the port of Cherbourg, France. The troopship was transporting 2235 American soldiers from regiments of the 66th Infantry Division. The ship finally sank 2 1/2 hours later. Everything that could, went wrong: calls for help were mishandled, rescue craft were slow to the scene and the weather was unfavourable. 763 American soldiers died that night, making this the worst loss an American infantry division suffered from a U-boat attack during the war.
The location of the sinking The Allied authorities were embarrassed by the incident and decided to bury the case. Many loved ones were told the men were missing in action although they were already dead by then, later to be classified as killed in action. The files were not opened to the public until 1996. U-486 had not said her last word, as she sank the British frigates HMS Affleck and Capel only two days later in the same area, before returning on 15 Jan, 1945 to Bergen, Norway. The wreck of the SS Leopoldville was discovered by Clive Cussler with the help of his shipwreck-hunting organization NUMA (National Underwater & Marine Agency). His book The Sea Hunters contains a chapter on the sinking which describes the incident from eyewitness accounts, and includes the story of the wreck's discovery.

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Attacks on U-486 during this patrol

30 Dec 1944
The target of the depth charge attack by a Canadian Wellington (RCAF Sqdn. 407/L) on 30 Dec 1944 in the English Channel south of Weymouth in position 50.05N, 02.31W, formerly credited with sinking U-772, was most probably U-486, which escaped unharmed. (Sources: 2005-01-01, Axel Niestle)

About this data
If you believe we have missed an attack on a German U-boat in this listing please let us know.

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* These are officers that later became commanders themselves.

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