U-boat patrols

Patrol info for U-553

DepartureArrival / FateDuration
7 Oct 1941St. Nazaire22 Oct 1941St. Nazaire16 days


Officers *

Kptlt. Karl Thurmann

Oblt. Erich von Lilienfeld

Oblt. Wolfgang von Eickstedt

Walter Zenker

Daily positions, sinkings and allied attacks during the patrol of U-553

We have daily positions for all 16 days on this patrol.

Ships hit by U-553 during this patrol

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. ConvoyMap
15 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Silvercedar4,354brSC-48A
15 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann Ila1,583nwSC-48B
17 Oct 1941U-553Karl Thurmann HMS Gladiolus (K 34)925brSC-48C

3 ships sunk (6,862 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

General Events during this patrol

We have no events listed for this patrol.

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Attacks on U-553 during this patrol

15 Oct 1941
At 16.24 hrs, the boat dived after being sighted by HMCS Columbia while shadowing convoy SC 48 off its port beam. The destroyer obtained no Asdic contact but dropped six depth charges at the diving spot and then remained in the area to keep U-553 down. At 18.15 hrs, the U-boat fired a stern torpedo at the destroyer, but she managed to evade the attack after a lookout saw the torpedo track. HMCS Columbia picked up a good contact and delivered an accurate depth charge pattern, but U-553 had already dived to 55m (180ft) and suffered only minor damage. In the meantime HMS Gladiolus joined the hunt, but carried out no attacks as the U-boat had already crept away. (Sources: KTB U-553/ADM 237-187)

17 Oct 1941
After a successful attack on convoy SC 48, the boat dived to 90m (295ft) to avoid a destroyer which approached. Three depth charges were dropped at the diving position, detonating high above the U-boat which escaped further attacks by passing under the convoy. The destroyer was probably USS Kearny, which dropped a single depth charge at 00.22 hrs. (Sources: KTB U-553/ADM 237-164)

About this data
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* These are officers that later became commanders themselves.

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