|Ordered||15 Aug 1940|
|Laid down||8 Jun 1941||Bremer Vulkan-Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack (werk 28)|
|Launched||18 Mar 1942|
|Commissioned||6 May 1942||Kptlt. Kurt Nölke|
|Successes||2 ships sunk, total tonnage 12,376 GRT|
Sank on 20 January 1944 in the Bay of Biscay south-west of La Rochelle, France, in approx. position 45.40N, 03.00W, in an accident after a deep dive trial. 51 dead (all hands lost).
U-263 sailed for its second patrol after lengthy repairs that had taken more than a year to complete, but one day after leaving port the boat reported that its external portside No. 2 fuel tank had collapsed during a deep dive trial and that it was returning to La Pallice in need of immediate assistance. However, the transmission of its last radio message was incomplete and U-263 failed to answer thereafter. A search for the boat and its crew found nothing.
This boat is a dive siteThis site is at 27m depth near La Rochelle. Depth: 95 feet (29 meters)
Position (lat, long): 46.06, -1.36
See more U-boat dive sites.
U-263 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Westwall (8 Nov 1942 - 24 Nov 1942)
Attacks on this boat and other events
20 Nov 1942
After an attack on two freighters convoy escorts dropped 119 depth charges on the boat. Serious damage forced U-263 to return to port. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114.)
24 Nov 1942
Four days after being seriously damaged by convoy escorts while inbound to France, four depth charges from a British Hudson bomber (Sqdn 233, pilot Eric Smith) west of Gibraltar left U-263 seriously damaged and unable to dive. BdU gave the option of sailing for Spain, but the boat managed to reach France on 29 Nov, afterwards needing 13 months of repairs. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 114)
26 Nov 1942
The damaged inbound U-263 met an enemy submarine, which fired two torpedoes, but both missed their target.
3 recorded attacks on this boat.
Men lost from U-boats
Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-263 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.
We have 1 emblem entry for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.
Battle Club breaking Ship