List of all U-boats




Ordered23 Dec 1939
Laid down11 Nov 1940 AG Weser, Bremen (werk 1009)
Launched1 Jul 1941
Commissioned4 Oct 1941Kptlt. Helmut Witte (Knights Cross)
4 Oct 1941 - 6 Jun 1943  Kptlt. Helmut Friedrich Witte (Knights Cross)
7 Jun 1943 - 28 Jul 1943  Oblt. (R) Heinz Beckmann
5 patrols
4 Oct 1941-30 Apr 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 May 1942-28 Jul 1943  10. Flottille (active service)
Successes23 ships sunk, total tonnage 119,554 GRT
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 265 GRT

Sunk on 28 July 1943 in the Caribbean Sea, south-east of Haiti, in position 15.57N, 68.30W, by depth charges from a US Mariner aircraft (VP-32 USN/P-1). 53 dead (all hands lost). (Axel Niestlé, December 1997).

Loss position

Note. Fate map temporarily disabled due to huge Google Maps price increase (20 July 2018).

See the 24 ships hit by U-159 - View the 5 war patrols

Previously recorded fate

  • Sunk 15 July 1943 in the Caribbean Sea east of Jamaica, in approximate position 15.58N, 73.44W, by depth charges from a US Mariner aircraft, P-10 (VP-32). (Postwar assessment)
    Notes. This attack sank the U-759.

Wolfpack operations

U-159 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
   Wohlgemut (12 Mar 1943 - 22 Mar 1943)
   Seeräuber (25 Mar 1943 - 30 Mar 1943)

Attacks on this boat and other events

13 Jul 1942
01.02 hrs, Bay of Biscay: a British Leigh Light Wellington (172 Sqn RAF) dropped three A/S bombs. The bombs fell close on the port side and caused severe damage, leaving the boat unable to dive. U-159 nonetheless managed to reach Lorient approx. 12 hours later. (Sources: Ritschel)

10 Oct 1942
14.41 hrs, west of Cape Town: an SAAF Ventura bomber dropped three depth charges shortly after the boat crash dived. Only minor damage was caused, but U-159 was forced to give up her chase of a freighter sighted earlier.

28 Mar 1943
In an attack on convoy RS 3 by Wolfpack Seeräuber (Pirate) off the coast of Spanish (now Western) Sahara, three ships were sunk and three U-boats (of eight) severely damaged. U-159 was hit by depth charges from aircraft. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 204)

3 recorded attacks on this boat.

Read more about the Schnorchel and see list of fitted boats.

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-159 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Circle with Symbols

Media links

U-Boats in the Bahamas

Eric Wiberg

German U-Boat Losses During World War II

Niestle, Axel

Hitler's U-boat War, Vol II

Blair, Clay

U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

Wynn, Kenneth

Hitler's U-boat War

Blair, Clay