U-boat patrols

Patrol info for U-243

DepartureArrival / FateDuration
8 Jun 1944Flekkefjord12 Jun 1944Bergen5 days
15 Jun 1944Bergen8 Jul 1944Lost24 days
29 days
Sometimes patrols were split into several 'legs', for resupply and other matters.


Officers *

Kptlt. Hans Märtens

Patrol description
Since 25 May, 1944, U-243 laid in readiness in Norway as part of group Mitte awaiting the expected Allied landings in northern France and sailed on 8 June to take up a defensive position in the North Sea after the Allies landed in the Normandy. Already on the next day, the U-boat was however ordered to leave group Mitte and to head for the Bay of Biscay because it was equipped with a Schnorchel. However, mechanical troubles with a diesel engine forced U-243 to enter Bergen. The U-boat left again after reparing the engine and eventually arrived in the Bay of Biscay where the boat was lost to an aircraft attack on 8 July.

Daily positions, sinkings and allied attacks during the patrol of U-243

We have daily positions for all 29 days on this patrol.

Ships hit by U-243 during this patrol

General Events during this patrol

We have no events listed for this patrol.

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Attacks on U-243 during this patrol

11 Jun 1944
0205hrs, 90 miles SW of Bergen: the boat opened fire on an aircraft that flew directly over her at low height. 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. (Sources: BdU KTB)

8 Jul 1944

The sinking of U-243:
14.35 hrs, Bay of Biscay SW of Brest: the boat sighted Australian Sunderland flying boat W4030 (RAAF Sqdn 10/H, pilot F/O William B. Tilley) and opened fire at a range of two miles (3km). The Sunderland strafed U-243 with 1,250 rounds, wounding at least three men on the bridge, including the commander, Kptlt Märtens, and silencing the AA guns. Six depth charges were dropped which straddled the stern. The explosions disabled all engines and caused a major leak, causing the stopped U-boat to settle by the stern with a list to port. The aircraft was kept at a distance with flak until the Germans launched dinghies at 15.00 hrs. The abandonment was hastened by the arrival of a second Sunderland from the same squadron and an American Liberator, which both dropped depth charges on the sinking U-boat. F/O Tilley dropped a dinghy and a food pack for the survivors before returning to base. He was awarded an immediate DFC, and the nose gunner, F/Sgt Lance E. Cooke, an immediate DFM. Kptlt Märtens and 38 other survivors were picked up by HMCS Restigouche after 14 hours, but the commander later died of his wounds.

(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

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

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