List of all U-boats




Ordered25 Sep 1939
Laid down11 Jul 1940 Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg (werk 296)
Launched20 Jun 1941
Commissioned15 Sep 1941Kptlt. Erich Würdemann (Knights Cross)
15 Sep 1941 - 12 Jul 1943  Kptlt. Erich Würdemann (Knights Cross)
5 patrols
15 Sep 1941-31 Jan 1942  4. Flottille (training)
1 Feb 1942-12 Jul 1943  10. Flottille (active service)
Successes14 ships sunk, total tonnage 69,893 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 23,358 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 6,821 GRT

Sunk at 1550hrs on 12 July 1943 in the North Atlantic west of Vigo, Spain, in position 42.30N, 16.30W, by 7 depth charges from a US Liberator aircraft (1st A/S Sqn USAAF/C). 48 dead and 6 survivors.

Loss position

See the 18 ships hit by U-506 - View the 5 war patrols

The boat was located by SC137 10cm radar which the Germans could not detect. About 15 men were seen in the water after the boat broke in two. The attacking pilot dropped a liferaft and a smoke flare to assist the survivors. 6 men were picked up from the sea by a British destroyer on 15 July, 3 days after the sinking.

Attacks on this boat and other events

11 May 1942
A US Navy Catalina flying boat attacked some 200 miles SSW of its base at Pensacola. Minor damage. (Sources: Ragnar J. Ragnarsson)

17 Sep 1942
An American B-24 Liberator piloted by James D. Harden attacked U-506 - carrying 151 survivors from the Laconia, 142 of whom were on deck - but the boat dived and escaped unharmed. Harden had also attacked U-156 the day before. These attacks resulted in Dönitz's Laconia Order. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 64.)

2 recorded attacks on this boat.

General notes on this boat

15 Sep 1942. U-506 (together with U-156 and U-507 and the Italian submarine Cappellini) took part in the rescue operations after the sinking of Laconia in September 1942 off Africa. About 1,500 men were saved by these boats and by French ships from Dakar (which arrived on 16 Sept, four days after the sinking).

Men lost from U-boats

Unlike many other U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes, U-506 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss.

U-boat Emblems

We have 2 emblem entries for this boat. See the emblem page for this boat or view emblems individually below.

Water bearer

Torpedo with Legs

Media links

The sinking of the laconia and the u-boat war

Duffy, James P.

One Common Enemy

McLoughlin, Jim

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

Torpedoes in the Gulf

Wiggins, Melanie

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.